Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Treatment 3 - Thursday Dec 30th and health update for you guys-Happy New Year

It's been a while since I wrote about what's going on and how I am actually feeling. So here is a brief update. My 3rd treatment is this week 12/30. So far I have been doing really well. Doc Hottie is very impressed with me and how well I am handling the treatments. My chest and lungs sound GREAT and I actually feel great except this is fatigue week. The week leading up to my treatment I get really tired. Yesterday I slept for 16 hours straight and even scared Tammy when I wouldn't answer the phone. I think I said it in an earlier post - it's like being drunk and hung over at the same time just without the nausea.

In fact I had lost some more weight but have leveled out and maintained my weight for the past 2 weeks so this is good news. I get nauseated every so often if I smell a certain food cooking or I get up out of bed to fast, but I take my little pill and in about 15 minutes I am good to go. So no complaints really.

I will do this next treatment and then on January 17th I have to do a CT Scan of the chest. This will tell us if there has been any changes. Hopefully the change we see is that the tumor is shrinking and there is no more fluid. Hell I'm praying the tumor is gone by some miracle. I will get the results on Jan. 18th, and promise to come back and post results right here for you all to see.

Please do not get upset if I don't call you personally. I have so many people that I love and want to call every time I hear something but it's physically and emotionally impossible to do so. That is why I have this BLOG, so i can reach everyone at once.

I cant thank you all for what you do - the prayers especially mean the world to me. The donations that are still coming in from the Third base fundraiser are a blessing. The upcoming fundraiser at Pub Zero in Slidell looks like it will be a full house and the raffle for the liquor barrel worth $1000. These events are all being planned by friends and family who have worked tirelessly to help me and Wayne fund my treatments.

Our Christmas was blessed and filled with family. I Hope everyone of you had a great one. My wish for the New Year is that we all receive answered prayers, have hearts filled with love and be blessed with our health. To you my friends I wish to celebrate many more years with each of you.

I love you - Happy New year

Ellen

Angels Near & Far

"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, not the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship." Ralph Waldo Emerson




I think everyone from Alabama to Louisiana has heard about Ellen's Angels by now. It's amazing how much love and support I have received over the past couple of months. BUT tonight has taken Ellen's Angels clear across the globe - up north to Canada! That's right I now have Ellen's Canadian Angels! Let me tell you a story.....

Back in High School I was fortunate enough to have many different circles of friends. It was my Jr and Sr year that brought me close to Sabrina Lucetti. Sabrina and I were a hot mess together. We both wanted to be Madonna, we both loved music and to be the star of the show! Her sense of humor and smile always cheered me up. Sabrina was just one of those girls who made you have fun no matter what kind of mood you were in. When it came to her family, especially her Mother - her Italian blood ran thick and our love for our Mothers was something else we had in common.

We were usually the talk of the school when it came to hair styles, or should I say hair color. If she went bleach blonde, I went frosted. If she went frosted, I went black and so on. At some point I think I was green when she was blue but I'm not sure LOL... (I really was green at one point). We just always had a great time together and we always loved one another and never fought.

Well, Sabrina had her high school sweetheart Mark, and after graduation they got married. I ran into her once or twice and then they moved to Canada. We mailed each other (before Internet was common) a few times through the years and like most friendships, would lose touch and then a few years would pass and we'd connect again always as if we had talked the day before.

Well as we all know Katrina hit us pretty hard. me and my family had evacuated to Winnfield, LA. I could not reach anyone by phone. None of my friends or co-workers in MS or LA. NOT ONE! It was as if every number I had in my phone had been disconnected. I remember sitting outside of our hotel room, crying with my phone in my hand because I had just hung up with Penn Nat'l Gaming's corporate office - (they owned Casino Magic Bay St Louis). When I couldn't reach my co-workers I called the corporate HR office to see if they had heard from any of our employee's, but especially my HR Team. They told me that I was the first employee to call out of, I think we had over 1,100 at the time. I told them what the news was reporting was that the cities of Waveland and Bay St Louis were demolished and wiped away. It was a very emotional call to say the least. So as I sat there with my phone in hand, crying my eyes out like everyone else my phone rang. I don't even remember looking at who was calling - I was so shocked it actually was ringing that I immediately answered it. On the other end of the phone was SABRINA. She was hysterical and I could barely understand her. SHE was the first person to contact me after Katrina. She was in Canada and was watching it all unfold on the news. She had family in NOLA and knew they were safe, but she was so worried about me and my family. It was just so good to hear someones voice and especially someones voice that meant so much to me for so many years. After that call I believe we spoke at least every other day. After about 10 days at the hotel my parents found a condo to rent in Lafayette. Once we moved I must have given Sabrina my address, I don't really remember, but about a week or so after being in the condo I received a package. It was a BIG box - literally HUGE filled to the top with clothes for all of us. The kids, me, Wayne. It had blankets and sheets and books and so much stuff in it. All stuff that Sabrina had gotten donated after learning that we lost everything except what we had evacuated with which was 1 weeks clothes each (I thought we'd be home after the power was back on - duh) and 1 backpack of toys for each of the kids, and of course my pictures and few sentimental items. Sabrina was there for me and I have never forgotten how much that meant to me, to all of us. It was an incredible thing to have someone so generous in my life.

Mark contacted me in September and invited me to come to Canada to surprise Sabrina for her 40th birthday. When he contacted me he said that Sabrina told him there is no way he could ever surprise her and he racked his brain trying to think of the best surprise he could pull of. I wanted to go so badly, but knew I was undergoing all the tests and did not want to tell him what we suspected. Not until I knew for sure what it was. So I unfortunately had to turn down the invitation and that truly broke my heart. I wanted to go and see her so badly. I promised myself that once I knew what was wrong and was feeling well Wayne and I would plan a surprise trip - and fly to Canada and just up on their doorstep! Then I was diagnosed and knew that dream would be put on hold once again....

WELL - here we are 5 years or so later and I am at a point in my life where I have to face another challenge and again Sabrina being Sabrina, was one of the first of my friends to want to do something. It was hard on her being in Canada and not being here for me physically. Her Fb messages to me were ones of love and concern. She encouraged me to fight and be strong and reminded me that if I beat it once I could do it again. these words helped me in those first few days and I could tell from her writing she was very upset and concerned for me. BUT she was determined she was going to do SOMETHING. And then it came to her - why not do a 50/50 raffle. She had the tickets made and got her husband and friends to sell them.

Tonight I opened a package from Sabrina. The entire time I was trying to open it I was shaking. It was so strange, it was as if all the love that was sealed inside of it was bursting to get out! I finally opted for a scissors because I couldn't tear  through the tape on the envelope. The first thing I pulled out was a beautiful compact and a letter from Bri. I won't share the letter because it's between two girlfriends and I will cherish it forever. I hope she knows I will do as she asked and it will always be with me from here on out.

The next thing I opened was a Christmas card. The Card held a check and Sabrina wrote inside of it explaining where the check had come from. Sabrina began selling tickets to everyone she knew and had her husband hustling ticket sales as well. Some friends jumped in and helped and things were looking pretty good. It seems that while selling the tickets for the 50/50 raffle, some of her co-workers and friends chose to write my name on the tickets instead of their own which would increase my chances of actually winning all of the money rather than just receiving 50% of whatever was raised. A total of $925 was raised and my name was pulled from "the hat" from a ticket that was purchased by one of her co-workers. The check for $925 from my Canadian Angels was just an amazing sight to see. I cried the whole time I read the card out loud to Wayne. Then I read it again to myself. I handed Wayne the card and the check and he cried like a baby.

In her card Sabrina went on to tell me that she admired me. That my blog is an inspiration and has changed the way she looks at things and has made her a better person. I can't tell you how good those words made me feel. here I am writing a blog to help me through this journey and all awhile I am helping her. It's an amazing feeling to be blessed this way. Those of you who really know me will know that I don't take friendships lightly. My friends, my true friends are loved like family. Sabrina is one of those friends. We spoke on the phone tonight and I just couldn't find big enough words to thank her for all she has done. Her response was that she wished it could have been more! ARE YOU KIDDING! She has provided for me during two of the most tragic events in my life and has never turned her back on me. She has encouraged complete strangers that only know me as "her friend who needs help", to give money to me. She has made me feel that I have accomplished a great thing by inspiring at least 1 person with my words. She has given me more than I could ever give her in return. But she knows that I love her and cherish our friendship. No matter how many miles apart we are - our hearts beat in sync and for each other. She is my soul sister and I love her for everything she has done and for everything she will continue to do that is good, not just for me but for anyone who ever needs her, I know she will be there.

She plans on coming down South in the Spring and we will get to spend time together. One of my dreams is to one day go to Canada to visit her and allow me to meet some of the people who donated to me. That's going on my wish list and I know it will happen.

So as lucky as I am to have Ellen's Angels here at home - I know I have my Canadian Angels too and that makes me feel twice as blessed.

I love you Sabrina and Mark - and I will always love you!

SJM High School Dance Sabrina and Mark top left hand corner Me and Tony in the middle

Sabrina and I ran into each other about a year after graduation at a red light and pulled over and took this photo!
Sabrina and Mark

Sabrina's bleach blonde MADONNA hair and me dark :)

Senior retreat - the tree we hid behind smoking cigerette's
with Andrea and Amy - one of my favorite pics
After Katrina Sabrina and Mark visited - we were in the middle of rebuilding our home - first reunion in about 16 years
Ellen

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pain Pain go away

Today is only Monday 12/20 but I have to tell you - I have had no pain since Friday morning. Ever since all of this began back in August - I have had a constant pain in my right flank and side. I can't even explain it but the pain is so deep and intense even the pain patches didn't really take it all away - they just dull it. As the months have passed I guess I almost became used to it and it became more of a constant tooth ache. I have had some "breakthrough" pain (that's what the doctors call it) and from time to time especially at bedtime or in the morning when I first get up have had to take a pain pill. Well as of Friday NO PAIN. Not any at all. No dullness, no aches, no nothing. It's as if the pain just went away as fast as it started. This is crazy! I am not complaining, I am just astonished by it that's all. I felt so good this weekend that Saturday we went to the mall and I walked just about the whole thing and then some. Then when we got home we went out for a little while and I was dancing and cutting up, something I have not been able to do since August when I thought I hurt my back. When I say I danced I MEAN I DANCED nonstop for at least 2 hours! I was having such a good time, Wayne even danced! That takes alot, let me tell you! The I just knew when I got home that I would pay for it on Sunday and be hurting like hell. I ended up staying up til almost 4 am on the computer because I hated to go to bed. Finally I did and got up about 10 am Sunday and guess what - NO PAIN. We had Tammy and Bobby Haar stop over for a visit while they were down on the coast. They had their son Robby, his girlfriend and a friend with them. We watched the game (with disgust) and hung out most of the day and NO PAIN! I went to bed around 9 pm and woke up for work today and yep - you guessed it - NO PAIN!

So for the past 3 days I have been PAIN FREE! I hope that tomorrow will make day 4 and so on and so on. This would be the greatest Christmas present if my pain was gone for good - because I have a feeling if the pain is gone - I MUST BE HEALING! I pray this means the chemo is working. I know I have only had 2 treatments, but Dr. Hottie says the regime is one of the strongest he can give and he so happy that I am healthy enough to tolerate it. In fact he can't believe how good I am doing with it! So my next treatment is Dec. 30th and then Jan. 17th I will do a chest CT to compare to my others and we need to see if there is any change. What we want to see is the tumor shrinking or gone (wouldn't that be a miracle) or the same with no change, what we don't want to see is that it is bigger. I told him it won't be bigger, I think I would know if it was. I have no shortness of breath whatsoever, no pain anywhere in my body but especially in my upper back or chest and when he listened to my chest on last Thursday he said I sounded great. I am no longer coughing like I was either when I had that fluid so I think I really am improving.

Let's just keep praying - we never stop praying. I am praying for me to heal, and for God to bless all those who pray for me. Fr Seelos is still by my side making me fight. And I ask him every day to help me get through this and to watch over all those praying so hard for my recovery.

Now I will add this to my prayers - Fr Seelos and my dearest God in heaven, thank you for giving me a pain free day and I ask that tomorrow be the same, please continue to heal me and make me whole again. Thank you in Jesus' name - Amen

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Give Life to your relationships from Joel Osteen

Give Life to your relationships

Relationships are just as much about what you have to give as what you are hoping to receive.
Remember, you have so much to contribute to your relationships. Give your spouse and the people in your life something to draw from. You be the model of change. Don't push people to change; instead, lead by example and by investing good seeds. Dig deep within yourself and sow life into your relationships.

When you start speaking what God says about you, toxic thoughts cannot take root. God's Word provides a hedge of protection around your heart and mind. Always remember, you are not who people say you are; you are who God says you are. People may say, "You're never going to be successful." God says, "Everything you touch will prosper and succeed." People may tell you, "You're never going to get well." God says, "I'm restoring health back unto you." Somebody may say, "It looks like your family is never going to get on the right track." God Word says, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." People may say, "Your situation looks impossible." God says, "With Me, all things are possible!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Moment

I can't find the word. The one word that would apply to what I experienced Saturday night. I have said it over and over again that I felt humbled by the love shown to me and thankful that I am so blessed. I was honored to be with so many wonderful people, family, friends, and strangers alike. It really was like an out of body experience for me. So surreal. I remember looking around the room and saying to myself, "STOP!", Ellen you need to be in this moment 110%, right here, right now and just take it all in." I actually did take it all in, I took a really deep breathe and at that moment all of the love in that room came right into my lungs and I held it there for a second, as I exhaled I thanked God for that breathe and for the opportunity to stand there and witness a room full of people who were all there for one reason - ME.



I have always had "friends", and I have always been "liked". But when you find out that you are truly LOVED for the person you are - whoa, talk about a MOMENT. I was raised to be good to people, to care for others and to always help others when I can. It's how I was raised, it's how we (my brother and sister) were raised. I have tried to raise my own children this way as well. I remember Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, cooked for 40 people or more sometimes. My Grandfather invited everyone that had no where to go. He refused to let any of his friends be alone on a Holiday and sometimes even invited strangers to eat with us. He was a generous man. When I was about 10 some fisherman pulled up to the wharf by the Marina. I remember my Paw Paw talking to them as they pumped gas. I was watching from upstairs in the rest. A few minutes later my Paw Paw came upstairs and handed me a piece of paper and told me to give it to my Mi Mi. I ran upstairs (where we lived) and gave her the paper. I remember she smiled and told me to go and tell him it would take her about an hour or two. I ran back down and relayed the message. By that time Paw Paw had breakfast cooking, fried fish lol and coffee. These 2 men were sitting at a table and whispering. They were dirty looking and smelled very bad. My Paw Paw fed them and talked with them. When my Mi Mi got back she gave my Paw Paw some bags. He had sent her to get them a part for the boat that they needed, changes of clothes, and blankets. I am not sure but I can bet she probably had bought some soap and deodorant and such as well for them. I think that was the first time I ever saw a grown man actually cry and hug another man. I don't recall what the circumstances were, or how Paw Paw knew they had no money and needed help. I don't know if they were legit or pulled one over on him, but it doesn't matter. My Paw Paw did what Paw Paw would do - he would give whether you asked for his help, denied you needed it or whatever. He didn't help others because he had to, he did it because he wanted to. If he knew he could do something to make things better for you - it was done. He never expected pay back, he never wanted a thank you. He just wanted YOU to have what you needed to get through whatever it was you had to. His generosity and love for other human beings was incredible. This is just one of many many stories I could share about him.



(I really hope Mom doesn't read this post tonight but I have to write it.) Saturday night was a Paw Paw moment for me. I physically felt him there with me when I took that microphone to speak. It was a moment of me needing help and someone giving it to me whether I asked for it or not. It was a matter of strangers donating money and not knowing who Ellen was, but making it a point to walk over, introduce themselves, wish me the best and then tell me how evident it was that I am loved by so many. It was looking over at my husband, Mom, and Pop and family and thinking how much this night was helping us and that we could actually enjoy the night without feeling guilty about having a great time. It was a Paw Paw moment because no one, NOT one person in that room expects (ed) anyone in my family to do anything in return except FOCUS ON ME GETTING BETTER



I wish that you could all have that Paw Paw Moment. That moment like I had Saturday night. The Moment that slaps you silly and says this is what it's all about you big dummy! Doing for others, giving what you can no matter how much or how little you think it is. Recognizing friendship and appreciation for one another and wishing only the best to those around you. Helping someone whose fallen and just needs to be picked up. Everything good that you have done will eventually come back to you and it will be a Moment that you will never forget. Thank you for giving me mine!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another great way to help our cause from my friend Richie Bulot

from my friend Richie Bulot - please share with all your friends - great Christmas gifts here! All purchases from our friends at http://www.facebook.com/l/4c7bc;FLEURDELISWEAR.com that use *Special Benefit* Code: ELLEN , will donate 20% of your entire merchandise purchase to support Ellen's treatment expenses as she battles to overcome cancer.

Richie has great Fleur DE Li's apparel for the entire family all reasonably priced! Original phrases adorn some of the shirts and you will love to give these as Christmas gifts.

Original NOLA artists CD's celebrating the Saints and the city are sure to get noticed at your next party and a great Saints tailgating CD everyone must have! Plus more merchandise.

Copy and send this to all of your friends emails and FB pages and help ME out while you shop. You must use the special code ELLEN at checkout!

Richie I thank you - you are the coolest YAT that I know!

Treatment #2 - only 4 more to go-prayers answered again and looking forward to Saturday

Well once again Fr Seelos listened to my prayers and all went well. I was so anxious that when they hooked me up it was going to be as painful as the first time. I even took a xanax before hand. Susan my chemo nurse is the best. I feel like I have known her forever. She told me to lean back, relax and take a deep breath and when I did the needle was in - NO PAIN whatsoever. It was just a pinch and I barely felt it. I was so relieved I cried from it. How ELLEN is that! My treatment is only 3 hours and I think I slept for 2 hours of it. I met some nice people today who are also in treatment. @ ladies in their 60's or more have colon cancer and both are in remission but have a one hour maintenance treatment they do every 2 weeks. They both look great. They each went through 35 radiation treatments and 8 chemo and now the maintenance. Very inspiring. I also met a man in his 60's with lung cancer. His was operable in the top lobe and after 3 months it did come back to the next part of his lobe and just had that removed and now has his 6 treatments. He looks good to considering the surgeries. It was nice to share I guess. I will keep them all in my prayers.


I did really well, slept some and of course woke up around 3 am sweating. Normal. I have no nausea and hope that I feel good tomorrow. I go for my nuprogen shots tomorrow, Mon Tues and Wed and see Dr Hottie on Thursday.

I am so looking forward to the benefit on Saturday. I just want to feel great so I can enjoy seeing my friends and just let loose and have a good time. It is going to be a celebration of life. Because that is who I am. Nothing means more to me than family, friends, music, laughter and memories. I am not the type of person to ask for help, especially financially. Wayne and I have always tried to do it alone and have made many sacrifices to get through the tough times. Sure we have had to ask for help from time to time from family but never did I think that we would be hit with this type of financial hardship. To have all these friends and strangers come out and support us like this it is a very humbling experience. I hope everyone knows that  it means the world to us.

See you on Saturday! Love and kisses - Ellen

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amazing people in my Life FRIENDS & FAMILY

I was telling my friend Ellen tonight how lucky I am that over the past few years God has placed the most amazing people in my life and this is obviously part of his plan. It's also funny how when you go through something so serious, you truly see who is a friend and who isn't really. If I would have been diagnosed 5 years ago or even 3 years ago I don't think I would have had so much support from my friends as I do right now. Over the past few years I have gotten really close to some people who I adore, very good friends who I love being with all the time. I have also been fortunate that Face Book and Dave Sigur's East gatherings have brought me back in touch with friends that I haven't seen or spoken to in 20 years and for some of them its like we never lost touch. It is so amazing - I can't even explain it. I am very thankful for these friendships and the support these people have given to me. I have all my wonderful friends in the Bay putting on this amazing Benefit this weekend - Tammy (my sis), Alicia, Ellen, Andrea, Danielle, Kelly, Angie and Holly and everyone else who will be pitching in some time to help Saturday night - to everyone at Third Base for letting us take over your business for the night, all those who donated items and liquor for the liquor barrel which is totally amazing - I can't thank you all enough. For the upcoming East Benefit in January being organized by Pub Zero Daiquiri's, my brother Butsie and Dave Sigur - thank you thank you thank you! For everyone who is planning on attending these events and those who can't but purchased tickets and gave donations anyway - I pray that your donations come back to you ten fold for being so kind and generous.

To my dear friend Sabrina in Canada who is raising money way up there for me - having total strangers give to help me with these expenses - you are amazing and I love you! To my sister fromanother Mother Schoen - that book is amazing and has helped me so much - love you my diva! To my dear friend Ryan who was so supportive of me when I was 15, thank you for the cards and beautiful scarves from Afghanistan - I love you. And to my high school friend Lisa who took the time to read and retain all the little things I 've posted here and on face book for sending me that unbelievable box of goodies to get me through this - I mean who does this - only you dear friend - and you know I love you. I have been encouraged and sent message after message filled with information on diets during chemo, web sites that may interest me, financial support information and the list goes on. To know that as busy as all of your lives on that you think of me on a daily basis and take the time to send me a message - its an amazing feeling.

TO MY FAMILY:

I think that you all know just how much you do for me. I know I continually thank everyone of you but sometimes I feel it's just not enough. I can choose who my friends are, but GOD chose me to be a part of this family and I am so grateful to be blessed with a MOM who loves me more than anything and who would literally switch places with me in a heart beat. A STEP DAD - who has never been anything but a FATHER to me - never a step dad - this man would walk to china and back barefoot if it could heal me and I love you. MY SISTER TAMMY - God placed you here in Bay St Louis, unexpectedly but with purpose - I appreciate everything you do for me and the kids - in fact I don't know what I would do if I didn't have you so close. BUTSIE - thank you for doing so much with the event in Jan. you are so good to me and I am proud to have you as my baby brother. And Linz you know how much I love you too. SHERI - my step- baby sis - so glad you are close now so that you can see all of us more. My Step brother Chris - I know we never see each other but I know you are praying for me. To my In laws - thank you for checking on me and doing the things you do to help out - it's appreciated. To my Brother and sisters in law - your prayers and support mean more to me than you know. To all the Aunts/Uncles and cousins praying for me and sending me messages of support and love - I love you too. To my HUSBAND Wayne - when I married you we took those vows and for 18 years of marriage we have been so blessed with our health. Now we are being tested but I know that our vows stand and we will get through this in sickness and in health, together we will do this. Your love for me is more visible now than it ever has been. I know you are stressed put and sometimes want to just scream because you can't make this better - but just knowing that you love me the way you do gives me something to fight for. You are my world. and last but not least my babies, Adele, Alexis and Joe Joe - you have all been so strong and supportive. I am so proud that God gave each of you to me - I love you all so much that there are no words to describe the love in my heart for you. I live and breathe for you - and one day when you have children you will understand this kind of love - a love like no other.

So in my amazement and all my thankfulness tonight I will go to bed feeling blessed and will pray for everyone in my life - that God will bless each of you and see the goodness in your hearts. Tomorrow is my second treatment I hope it goes well, and is working. I have so much left to do in my life and want so badly to be here for another 50 years LOL.... keep praying and sending angels my way and know that I do the same for you. Will update you on my treatment as soon as I can.... love to you all - Ellen

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Beginnings from Joel Osteen

New Beginnings (I have always believed in this - I hope you do too. I highlighted the lines that jumped out at me and opened my heart to where it should be - El)

We all love to see miraculous transformations. Whether it´s a sports team that goes from worst to first in a single season, a life–saving surgery for a child, a person that loses hundred of pounds, or even the amazing home make–overs on TV, that takes a home in much need of TLC, and literally transforms it into a beautiful mansion–we all love the ending outcome of miraculous transformations.
Anytime we want to have a change though, especially one that will make our lives better, it requires us to believe that it can happen. We have to make a choice to have hope.
  • Most of us have found ourselves in a place where we were on the edge of loosing something very precious to seemingly everything.
  • Whether you´ve lost your job, your mortgage is in risk of foreclosure, your relationships are struggling, or you or a loved one needs healing, I want to encourage you to never give up!
It all begins with a choice; the choice to never give up. God always completes in us what He has started; His good work and good plan. (Phillippians 1:6).
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
I love the story of a man named Ira. His story is the perfect example of what happens when you never give up. By the time he was 12, both of his parents had died. He and his brothers had no choice but to take care of themselves. So they got jobs working at a ranch.
Through hard work and refusing to give up, Ira eventually got married and saved enough to buy a small ranch of his own. He kept dreaming, staying focused and making good decisions.
He bought a small grocery store, which turned into a big success. But he didn´t stop there either – he then sold the store to purchase a large 20,000 acre ranch in West Texas.

Not long after this big move, the Great Depression hit with full force and Ira fell behind on his payments. The bank threatened to foreclose and take away everything he´d worked so hard for through the years. At the last moment, just days before Ira lost everything, massive reservoirs of oil were discovered on his ranch!
Instead of losing everything, Ira received more than enough resources to bless his entire family and many more throughout his area. He provided jobs for people in need, built schools, children´s homes, Boy Scout camps, Salvation Army centers and developed a town that still exists today.

I love this story because his life was suddenly transformed.
Now I´m not saying that you’re going to find oil on your property or instantly become a millionaire! But what I am saying is that no matter how dark things look, God can turn things around in a single moment .
We all just enjoyed the changing of seasons, from winter to spring. Spring symbolizes new birth, a fresh start. No matter how cold and harsh your winter might have seemed, or even been, I want to encourage you to see your new fresh start in God. This spring, let this truth take root in your heart and mind: In a single moment, God can make all things new for you.
It all starts with your mind and attitude. Even if you don´t physically see this change right now, God can transform your heart and thinking, giving you peace that the world can´t give you. It´s a sustaining peace. It´s hope. Hope carries you through as you wait for your completing moment.
Ephesians 1:19-20 says: "I pray that you will (understand the incredible greatness of God´s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…" NLT) Think about it! The Bible says that God gives the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to those who believe Him.
He triumphed over every force of darkness, disease and destruction. And He´s promised to give this same victory to everyone who puts their trust in Him!
God´s incredible power is available for you, but you have to do your part and believe in Him and by faith, receive what He is offering and persevere in your hope!
When you face challenges and tough times, do you focus on the negative and begin to complain about how unfairly you are being treated? When you give in to those thoughts, you stop the transformation process.
When you are filled with doubt and unbelief, God´s miracle for you is put on hold. And it stays on hold until you begin to walk again in obedience and put your complete trust in Him.
When you stay positive, full of hope, and do not give up on God, He can take any situation in your life, any circumstance, regardless of the economy or what the world might say, and turn things around in a single moment for your benefit. Your life can change in a moment just like Ira´s and just like the disciples – who went from being alone and afraid to boldly proclaiming the message of Christ to every nation, making an impact on the entire world!
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (NLT)
No matter what you are facing today, I want to encourage you…
When you decide to not give up and put your whole trust in Christ, you pave the way for greater things to happen for you, in you and through you!
We are all hearing the negative reports about the current economic conditions; I hear them too. But in order for us to overcome these challenges, it´s important to know what God´s Word says about it.
His Word promises us in Philippians 4:19: "And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (AMP). God promises us that He is able to meet every need.
Remember, no matter what challenges you´re facing, God will make all things new in your life!
But it´s up to you and your choice! Keep choosing to stay in hope, believing for God to make things new, in His time. Remember, if we don´t give up, in due time we will be richly rewarded!

JOEL OSTEEN

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pink Heart Fund

There is an organization in Long Beach, MS called The Pink Heart Fund. It was launched in 2005 and is a non profit charity which provides prosthetic hairpieces, wigs for children and adults with hair loss illnesses, including those receiving cancer treatments. They provide women with free breast prosthetics after breast cancer surgery as well as resource for those seeking support or advice. And they also provide free Lymphedema sleeves as well. This is a sleeve that is worn by women who have breast cancer to help prevent the fluid or swelling in the arm. These sleeves can cost anywhere from $50-$100 but are given for free and proplerly fitted by a certfiied fitter.

Donations of ponytails are taken at any time and all children's wigs are made form this donated hair and go to children right here on the Gulf Coast. (Many are familiar with Locks of Love which is a great org., but they ship the hair and it does not stay local). The hair donated here stays here at home!

I visited with them today and met Ms Carol and Ms Gloria. Both two beautiful women. Wayne drove me so when we got there we were escorted to the Victorian Wig parlor. It is so pretty, all decorated in pink and lots of feathers and bling and a big wall full of wigs. I had to be custom fitted for my "Cranial Prosthetic". As you can see after trying on a couple I picked a cute asymmetrical doo, and was told that I looked like Victoria Becham - yes that would be me - Chemo Spice!  After my wig, I was given some instruction on things to do when my hair starts coming out (usually between 14-21 days - or like NOW) and how to care for my wig. I was given a night cap and two adorable hats for free. The wig is a raquel Welch with a price tag of $230! And once again it was FREE. I am able to receive 2 free wigs a year with a doctors prescription. As I was commenting on their services and how wonderful it is, I was told that in February they do a big fundraiser and will have a fashion show, food, drinks, music, etc... and was asked if I would like to be a model in the show. uhhh let me think about that one.... YES! I am very excited. We went to the children's room. When kids come in to donate their pony tails they can play in this cute room and they receive a cowboy hat and a certificate and a pin. Its very nice.
They do accept monetary donations as well.

DONORS - everyone can give hair. The walls have photos of donors and it's not just women. MEN, and girls and boys can all donate.
  1. All donated hair must be one length and at least 8' long.
  2. Hair must be clean and dried.
  3. Hair must be secured by a ponytail or braid and placed in a sealed bag.
  4. hair may be colored or permed, although no bleached hair may be accepted.
  5. Grey hair is accepted.
Many of my friends have said they would shave their heads with me but I would rather themlet their hair grow and mybe donate here to the Pink Heart Fund..hint hint Alicia and Danielle and Tammy!

As soon as I know more about the fundraiser in February, the 10th is the exact date, I will post it with hopes some of you may come and see me walk the runway!


Me and my sassy wig provided by the Pink Heart Funds in Long Beach MS
 If you want more information on this org. you can go to:
http://www.pinkheartfunds.org/

they also have a face book page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=538972025#!/pages/Long-Beach-MS/Pink-Heart-Funds/45882099836

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some additions to my blog page

I am starting to get use to this blog set up and have added some of my favorite web sites at the bottom of the page. You should be able to click on the links and view them. These are the sites that I sometimes visit when I need to seek some enlightenment. The beautiful quote at the top of the page is from a book called The Quiet Mind. It was sent to me by my beautiful friend Schoen. She told me that years ago her Mother was given a copy and loved it so much that through the years she has passed on copies to her friends in need of that little something to help them along. Just days before Schoen found out about my diagnosis she had just purchased some additional copies "in case she needed to share". Just another validation that God puts people in your life that you need there, exactly when you need them. I received the book and absorbed it's 96 small pages (the book is just a bit bigger than the palm of your hand) in a matter of perhaps an hour. And now I pick it up daily - open it up to a random page for that day and meditate on whatever is there for me to examine, appreciate and breathe with all of my being. If you have a friend who is going through a difficult time or maybe it's you that is going through your own life experience and some enlightenment to the soul is needed I encourage you to seek it out. It will change your soul the moment you open it.

The Quiet Mind - Sayings of White Eagle

Much love and light to you all - Ellen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Allow your own inner light to guide you - from one of my favorite positive thinking websites

There comes a time when you must stand alone.
You must feel confident enough within yourself to follow your own dreams.
You must be willing to make sacrifices.
You must be capable of changing and rearranging your priorities so that your final goal can be achieved.
Sometimes, familiarity and comfort need to be challenged.
There are times when you must take a few extra chances and create your own realities.
Be strong enough to at least try to make your life better.
Be confident enough that you won't settle for a compromise just to get by.
Appreciate yourself by allowing yourself the opportunities to grow, develop, and find your true sense of purpose in this life.
Don't stand in someone else's shadow when it's your sunlight that should lead the way.



This beautiful writing above is from one of my favorite websites, http://www.indianchild.com/

When I read it, my first thought was this is very true and I have lived my life exactly this way, or at least I think for the most part I have. My next thought was that I so hope that my children will read this and "get it". That I will not always be there to guide them and I only hope that they know that these words speak volumes. I want them all to be so strong, so independent and I never want them to settle because it's just sometimes is easier to do just that. I never want them to allow anyone, not me or Wayne or a boyfriend or girlfriend or a spouse someday to overshadow the brilliant light that each of them shine with. Each one of our children deserve to be whatever it is that their own heart desires and whatever the future holds for them they and only they can choose to shine through it and God willing they always will.

On the 10th day of treatment my chemo gave to me

the weekend from hell!!!!!!  LOL. I can laugh about it today but was far from laughing about it this past weekend. I just really had a bad weekend. I don't know if it's because I have been doing so good that it just took me by surprise or if I just pushed myself to it from "going going going". The worse part was the sweating. I get these soaking wet, dripping sweats. Now for the past 12 days or so it has been normal for me to sweat some. My chemo nurse said that during treatment your hormones get all crazy. Usually I can put a fan on me and it passes but comes on and off during the day or night a few times and is tolerable. BUT I don't know what happened this weekend. It was like every pore in my body had a leak. It was constant from Saturday morning when I woke up through last night. Showers didn't help, in fact it made things worse. I was so sick just from the sweating I couldn't eat much and even had some trouble taking in fluids without getting nauseated and dry heaves. I won't go into all the details of my horrible day but it was to the point where I was so weak I felt like a rag doll. My poor sister. I felt so bad for her cause I could see she was upset because she couldn't do a thing to help me. I hope she understands that just knowing she was here with me in case I needed her was a huge comfort. Then at 11:30 last night it was like someone flipped a switch and I was dry. I kept watching the clock just waiting for another sweat attack. Midnight, 12:30, 1:30..ahhhh finally I could relax a bit. I was so grateful to be DRY. I'm laughing at myself reading this because I know it sounds ridiculous, but it really is miserable to be sitting there with sweat rolling off of you for 48 hours. I'm cold from the sweat so I shiver, but can't throw any blankets on me because I sweat more. CRAZY huh? It just made for a completely miserable weekend.

Today makes day 12 of treatment. That means I have 93 days left until my last treatment . I know it will have its ups and downs. And I know some people say chemo is HELL but geez I can deal with HELL as long as I don't have to sweat my way through it. Call me a DIVA but sweat and I just don't go together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving and FAMILY

My family is an amazing support system. My Mom Adele is the rock of the family - she is the MATRIARCH. She has always provided us with love and support. She may not always understand why "we" do some of the things we do, but in the end she loves us unconditionally. Her love for her children is just amazing. Anyone who knows her can tell you that she would kill anyone who hurts someone dear to her.  When I was 15 she and I went through an extremely difficult time with my illness. When I was sick, she was sick. When I was tired,she was tired. When I was in pain, she was in pain. It was though she felt everything I did. She never gave up fighting for me, she never will. I always have people tell me how lucky I am to have a Mother like her - trust me I KNOW.  I love you MOM

My POP - came into my life when I was 18. Never thought I would love him the way I do. I don't mean that in a bad way at all. When he asked for our permission to marry Mom he told us all then that he promised to take care of her, and to be our friend and always be there for us as well. He did not want to take the place our our "dad", he just wanted to be a part of our lives. That's when I fell in love with him and knew that he was meant to be my POP, my Father, my Dad. He is the most generous man i know. He has given so much to Wayne and I and has given his heart to his grandchildren. Pop is a man of character and respect. He works hard to give my mom the life she deserves and he will always put us before himself. I love when people meet him for the first time and tell me I look like him - LOL. I think that its because of the special bond he and i have always had. It comes natural for me to call him dad and i am forever thankful for the night that I asked him to go over and ask Mom to dance. I take full credit for setting them up for marriage and knowing that he is the best thing (besides us of course) that Mom has in her life.
Happy Bday Paw Paw
 My husband Wayne is an awesome man as well. He is a great Father to his children. He loves them more than life itself. Wayne and I met right after he graduated from High School.  We have been together for 20 years or so and I wouldn't have it any other way. Marriage is not easy and you have to work on it every day. Wayne and I sometimes disagree, well most of the time we disagree, but in the end we never go to bed angry. He has always provided for me and the kids and would move heaven and earth to make things perfect for us. I married my best friend and i know he loves me with all of his being. What more could a girl ask for?
Adele and her famous Pecan Pie

Sheri and Bill

Aiden's first turkey leg
 My babies - Adele, Alexis and Joe Joe - wow how lucky I am. I have 3 healthy, smart, beautiful children. They are all talented and truly a gift to me. Although we have our teenage moments filled with hormones and eye rolling, my kids are my heart. They are the reason I get up each morning, take a deep breath and say to myself - "this is going to be a good day, let's roll". I pray every night that my children will take so much from this experience and continue to do for others as they have done for me. They have good hearts and I know whatever paths they choose in life they will be taking care of others in some sort of capacity. I love them and only hope they love me as much as I love my Mom.
Hard at work to make our special family dinner

My siblings - Tammy and Butsie - gee where do I start... Tammy is my baby sister. She and I have always been opposites. We think differently, speak differently, dress differently etc... It wasn't until last year when she moved in with us that we really started to see just how alike we are. Tammy is a very strong person. She keeps her feelings tucked in and only shares when she feels the need to. She has really come to my side over the past few months and she makes sure that I am doing ok and that I have what I need. She brings my sweetie Aiden to see me because she knows he makes me feel better. Her two older sons Austin and Andre are so handsome. Their personalities remind me of how she and I were. Her boys are her life. She loves having them with her and would do anything to make them happyTammy is a straight shooter - so if you don't want the truth DO NOT ask. This is just how she is and I admire her at times for being so honest. I never really see her cry much, but when she does I cry right along with her. I am also so blessed by her moving near me because she has really developed a closeness with my kids that she didn't have early on. My girls love her and love being with her. Joe Joe thinks she is cool and laughs at her all the time when she is being, well you know TAMMY.


Baby Brother Butsie - ah my baby boy. I was 12 when Butise was born. My Mom and Dad split shortly after that and I kind of assumed the big sister role head on so that my Mom didn't have to do it all on her own. He was the sweetest baby ever. He is now a grown man and even tough there have been some bumps in his road of life, he has proven that with faith and love of God and family he can overcome anything. I am very proud of him and I all I want is for him to be happy and healthy. I really wish he and Linz (his sweetie) would come on and tie the know already - Aiden is walking now and I'm ready for another niece or nephew in the house, (j/k) they will do it when the time is right - I know they will.

Just had something really great happen - my step-sister Sheri and her husband Bill and kids have just moved home to the Coast. They will be living in Gulfport for a bit but hope to build in Diamondhead. It is unbelievable to me sometimes how God works. For so long us kids have lived all separate and now with a snap of a finger the girls are all together on the Coast. It was meant to be. I usually only get to see my step sister and step Brother Chris maybe twice a year during the holidays. Now I know I will get to see Sheri more and I hope since Chris is living back in Baton Rouge he can visit us more often too. It's ashamed we haven't spent much time with together the past few years. I guess that's the one good thing about when someone gets sick - the people you love do tend to be there when you need them to. I love ya Sheri welcome home, and my big boy Brycen too!








My In laws- Warren and Willie and I have gotten close over the past few years. They love their grandchildren so much and they actually y love me too! Warren is a great guy, who truly "gets me" and sometimes let's Wayne know it! We used to get together alot more and I am hoping that we will go back to doing more things with them soon.  That goes for my 2 sister inlaws and my brother inlaw as well. It's ashamed we dont see our nieces and nephews but once or twice a year of we are lucky. I know its hard with the jobs we all have now - but I am at least relived to know that if I need any one of them all I have to do is call and they will be there for us.
video

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving

Funny how when you are faced with an illness the Holidays mean just a little bit more. I could ramble on and on about what I am thankful for but I won't. I think everyone knows what that is. BUT what are you thankful for? I want to know so spill it here.


BTW - another good day - day 6. Cant complain over some back pain and fatigue.

Love ya'll - El

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Survived the weekend

Well I guess I did pretty good over the weekend. Slept almost all day off and on Saturday. Today was much better. When I spoke to my chemo nurse on Friday I asked when I would start feeling the side effects from this shot I have to get following my treatments and she said within 24 hours (Saturday) I should start getting achy and hurt in my bones. Well it aint happening yet - and i am not complaining. I woke up this morning and took a shower and when I dried my hair it looked a little thinner in some spots, thinking it was just my imagination I went to my pillow and was surprised to see that I am losing hair so soon. So I guess I will just have my brother bring his clippers over for Thanksgiving and we willjust get rid of it once and for all. I didn't think it would go that fast, but like they keep saying everyone is different. The worse change over the weekend has been my taste. NOTHING tastes good. Most of what I have eaten tastes like metal. I am using plastic utencils and straws like they said to, but even water is nasty. The only things that I really can taste are cold chocolate pudding, ice cream, shakes, bananas, lemonade and cheese puffs. Yeah thats really healthy huh! I have to drink the water, at least 1 liter a day so I force it. Grape juice is good but I need to switch over to the white grape. The books say eat when you can, when you have the appetite, and when you don't you must supplement with some snacks. So I am now tracking all I eat so Mom doesn't fuss thinking I don't eat at all.

Tammy was my sitter this weekend LOL.. I didn't think I needed one but everyone insisted. I am having trouble regulating my body temp so one minute I amdripping with sweat and burning up with AC on 66 and the next hour I am freezing with a sweater and blankets on me. Tam didn't complain to much - she was great. BUT now Wayne is home for the week and as soon as he walked in the door was like "whoa what's the air on"! Sorry love - blame it on the CHEMO...its a bitch.

I guess in one way Wayne and I have been very fortunate to have been healthy all these years. We have never really had to take care of one another over anything more serious than a minor surgery. BTW when he had his gallbladder out he was the worst patient. We have been with each other 20 years and this is the big one. An illness like this makes or brakes a marriage/relationship. I promised him on our wedding day 6-12-92 that in sickness and in health I would be by his side and he promised me the same. Unfortunately, now we have to test that vow. I hate that I sometimes feel that I have become or am becoming a burden to him. It's a natural feeling - I am not getting back on the pity wagon. But I do worry about him and how he is taking this, how he is going to manage taking care of me. He is such a wonderful man. He always has been good to me and I know he will get through this with me, but I still worry. Wayne holds alot inside and even though he tries to act like the strong tough guy he is one of the most sensitive guys I know. I mean cmon - he cries when watching Extreme Home Makeover! He doesn't talk to me directly about this whole thing, he talks more in circles of reassurance and tells me we are gonna be just fine. I hope he knows it's ok to cry and it's ok to worry and let it out cause if anything happens to him I don't know what I would do. I love him more than I show him sometimes and I have to work on that big time.

Well here's to the start of the new week, gotta go get my shot in the am and then head to work---so glad I can stay busy there, lots of stuff to work on. I shall post later this week....goodnite all --- thanks for continuing the prayers--- El

Pity Party

I just took a moment to read the comments that you have left for me but I cannot figure out how to respond back to each of you in person. I am so touched by each of your words. I do feel that I am so lucky to be loved this way. Yesterday I took the day to have a pity party. My poor sister stayed with me all day and all i did was sleep off and on, eat, pray and cry. I was pathetic. I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself. And I shouldn't feel that way at all. I have been here before, I know that this is not a punishment. I know that God has a plan for me and that I should not question it. There is someone out there much worse off than I am. Someone who has been struck with an illness and has no one to love them, or support them. Someone who has financial burdens so deep that they can not get the best treatment to save their life so they must take what they can get just to prolong the pain. How dare I feel sorry for myself. I am ashamed.

My friend Susan left a comment and I have to tell her that she is wrong. I am not always a strong, agressive fighter. I am vulnerable and scared to death. BUT I WILL NOT FEEL SORRY FOR ME ANYMORE! I want to fight the best fight and through my tears I will pray for God's mercy and ask him to heal me so that I can be a better person, a better Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend. We can all be better. None of us are perfect, we never will be perfect, but we have to realize that there is room to be better and that's what matters.

Susan also said she was going to go and tell more people that she loves them and that she is sad that so many times things get in our way and we lose touch. This is true for all of us. We have to make time even if its just a quick text - to say - have a good day - i love you - i miss you. MAKE the TIME!

NO more pity party - time to get ready to rumble! This is Sunday, the Saints are playing, I will be with my family, just like any other Sunday except this Sunday happens to be the first one after my first chemo treatment...who cares.... I am not going to refer to my new life by the cancer or the treatment....so happy Sunday guys...go watch some saints kick ass... i love all of you....and always will MUAH!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One day down and many blessings shown and surprises right there in front of your eyes

Table to the right of my chair where Mom said Fr Seelos would be "to my right" There were no other Fr Seelos cards in the room and the nurse did not know who left it there.
Well I tell you (Janelle) I never expected the day to be what it was.  I cannot believe how painful the insertion of the port needle was. I screamed and cried out and was so embarrased, but it really did hurt. Susan, my chemo nurse told me ahead of time that it would but I was not prepared for it. She said it would get easier as the port area healed, I pray she is right. But I do know for a fact that I will be taking a xanax beofre my next treatment on Dec. 9th.

Since the laws in place no longer allow anyone in the chemo area to sit with loved ones Mom and Wayne were not too happy. Mom text me this morning and said, "I wish I could be with you my baby, but you will be fine.I'll be holding your left hand and Fr Seelos will be holding your right." I moved my scapular of Fr over to my left side and I have a wooden Ft Seelos bracelet that I placed on my right wrist.So I get to the doctor's office and enter the chemo area. There are 4 chairs to the left of the room all facing the middle of the room and 1 chair on the right facing the middle of the room and then 2 chairs facing the entry way. There were 2 men seated nextto one another on the left. One was a young asian man,and the other an older man probably in his mid 70's. My plan was to grab the chair behind him so I didnt have to speak to anyone on my first day. This is so unlike me, but it was an actual thought in my head. As I headed to put my stuff down the nurse said, "no why not sit here." pointing to the one chair facing bith of them. UGHHH why me,not today. So i place my 2 bags on the floor, my purse on the chair and reach over to the small table nextto the chair to set my water down. I moved 2 decks of playing cards over and BAM right in front of me is a prayer card to Fr Seelos. I could not believe what I was seeing. This is blessings and surprises right here in front of me.  I moved my purse and sat down in shock and then realized he was to my right. Bet you know what happened next huh...yep tears and more tears. So of course I had to share so I tell the nurse. The nice man across from me Mr Jim found it to very interesting. I couldn't wait to share with Mom,Wayne and Danielle. Then Susan had to come and set me up which means the paragraph above then took place.  After I settled down, Danielle sent me a beautiful email that only she and I could relate to. I had most of what she said on my mind the rest of the day. I wantto thank all of my friends who kept texting me today but if I did not text back it's probably because I kept falling asleep during my texts. Found out later they had some benadryl in one of my bags! I then found out that I now have to return 4 times after my treatment to get a quick shot to boost my white cells, but that the shots cause pain...yippe ah a!


So anyway about 4:30 ish we get home and I am feeling just fine, but emtionally drained. I cried the whole way home,not for any particular reason. I think that this is normal for cancer patients.

So Mom and Pop come by at 6ish becasue I finally convinced her that I was to be felling fine this weekend and she did not have to miss hunting to stay home with me. Susan said I would probably not have major affects this time but after the next treatment yes. So anyway they come by and bring us a coputer desk they no longer used. And Mom gives me a cd froma friend of hers. It happened to be a christian cd,something that Danielle and I had spoken of just hours before to me. AGAIN a surprise and a blessing unexpected. After I explain the cd and Danielleand I's conversation she understood why I was so moved by it. Then to top it off Mom hands me a Clarion Herald which is the offical newspaper of the Archdioces of new orleans. A friend brought it to her at work becasue on the cover there is an article related to who else, Fr Seelos. Well I tell her your not going to believe this but Ms Karen (a friend and one of my former teachers) contacted me just yesterday asking for my address to send me one. Surprise and Bleesing!

Last but not least Candy an old friend of mine sends me a message to tell "Matt" hello. So I was like,"ummm Matt who?" She says "Dr Hottie, don't you remember him?" "Candy you must have the wrong Matt, this guy is just to special and kind." She said he has a brother named Stephen - Ellen this is the Matt we used to hang around. Welllo and behold she was right and once I out it all together it is Matt McKelveen and yes we hung in the same cirlce of friends. I told himhe was an arogant and conceited person in high school,he laughed atthat one and toldme not to holdback how I really felt. I told him it didnt matter because I was meant to be with him to be healed and that was amazing. He said he really didnt remember me - a girls worse nightmare,so I had to name who I hung out with from Brotehr Martin HIgh school that he would know. I named several people that he knew, but couldnt place me. I said I didnt really look the same back then but I did drive a red mustang convertible with the white rag top and that rang his bell! Also he aslked about my besty Ryan and was happtto know that Ryan was doing good and that he and I had come full circle once again. What a crazy day,I guess if you go back and read oneof my first blogs you can see why he didnt like me thinking he could be my dad, he should only be about 2 years older than me. LMAO Again blessings and surpises

Now how more loudly can God speak to me,to my Mom, to my friends. Fr Seelos is the glue to this puzzle. Every thing I request he has shown me to be. No I amnot "healed" yet, but we know I must make the sacrafices that my Lord Jesus Christ made for me. For without experiencing the pain and suffering that could lead towards death I would never appreciate the opportunity to live. Face Book has brought many people back into my life.Some were aquaintances then and still are now.Others were very close friends and we just went our own way,some were very special and by finding them now closure has taken place. I feelright now that the surprises that lead to Blessings are the best ever. And no matter how I look at it there is no doubting FACT. and the FACT of it is that these Surprises and Blessings are the start of my HEALING.

The Night Before The New Dawn - by Ellen Hoffmann 11-17-10

The Night Before The New Dawn

Sitting alone, quiet and still
I feel the warm water fall from my eyes.
I hear the tears slap the paper with a quick pop
and I wipe my cheek gently trying to comfort my own self.
I deserve to cry from time to time.
As I release my sadness and self pity, my heart can now prepare to fill itself with all of the love that surrounds me.
I am prepared for battle, only allowing the positive to enter my door to my home, to my heart, and to my life.
It is the night before the new dawn, waiting anxiously to have my prayers answered.
I will fight as I have been taught to fight in the past, always with Faith, Honor, Dignity, Humility and Trust.
My GOD will take my hand and we will walk together on this night into the new dawn to face the new day that follows it.
Never looking back, only ahead, knowing that my healing is what we will fight for.
Trusting that my healing is only weeks away from tonight -
The Night Before The New Dawn.



Written on the night before chemo treatment 1. First poem written by me in over 15 years. 
I hope you have enjoyed it.
El 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 hours to go - the battle begins

Well I still can't sleep. Got a whopping 1.5 hours last night. Went to work, hosted the Employee of the Month Luncheon, went back to the office and worked until 6ish.... came home made a phone call or 3 or 4, saw my sweet Godchild Aiden and my sis Tam, spent some time with Wayne and the kids and then rechecked my chemo purses to make sure I didn't forget anything for tomorrow. Then made some other calls (we have a new drama happening in the family that could be played like a Lifetime Movie) and spoke to Mom - I know she hates that no one is allowed to stay and sit with you during treatment, not even the first one. She has never left my side and I know she is with me in my heart. I think Wayne is bothered by it to, he says its BS notto let someone come back there especially him or mom so that they can understand and see what i will be going through back there. So anyway I decided to check my Blog and then FB. EYES STILL WIDE OPEN... I know its anxiety and took a Lil something to help that out - just waiting for it to kick in. Tomorrow I want to write about one conversation that I had. It was a real EYE OPENER. i cant do it now cause as soon as I think of this lady and the words we shared I fill up with tears. I promise I will write about it when I get home from chemo. It'such an amazing thing to hear a prayer being answered.

Tomorrow is the big day - the start of my battle - the beginning of the end of this disease. I am so ready. I keep up with my friend Janelle and to see what she is dealing with breaks my heart, I hate that she is in so much pain right now. Then I think well maybe that's a symptom I may have to deal with so I'm glad she warned me about it. Then I read her funny thoughts like the other day a young girl at a store asked her why she shaved her head...really she asked out loud. My friend Sue who we call "red" was there and I cant believe she didn't pop the poor child for being ill mannered. So of course through my tears for Janell's pain what do i do - start laughing. At this point Wayne thinks I have lost it completely.

When I had radiation for the cancer at age 15 my Mom let me go to a parade with my friends. That was in 85 and back then girls (teens) did not wear tshirts and jeans to parades or any event on a weekend night. I clearly remember wearing a long stretch skirt to my ankles, pink of course with a pink satin over sized top that tied in the front and white flats. I don't remember if I had completely finished all of my treatments or not, but my face was a bit round and i had frosted hair - duh Madonna wanna be. We were all walking down the street before the parade and there was group of guys sitting on the bed of a truck. I didn't really know them, but I knew they were Brother Martin Brats (all boys Catholic High School in NOLA). Anyway, one of the boys knew my friend Ron and walked up to say hi. I said hi and turned around to talk to my other friend, my best friend Ryan. When I did I heard the boy say to Ron something like, "why are you hanging out with the cancer chick, isn't she dying or something?"  Well before I could move or even have tears in my eyes, Ryan had the boy on his back and well, needless to say, whipped his ass rightfully so. That was the first and last time I ever condoned violence from my friends. I hated fights but man that one was sweet. It was at that moment I knew who my real friends were that night. I hope the "dumb one" grew up to be a good father and has never had to experience a child with cancer. I am thankful every day of my life that my children have been healthy - that is a great gift too often taken for granted. So my kiss your babies even if they are in their 20's or hell their 40's, every chance you get and thank God for their health and pray that you will never have to face cancer whether someone you love or your own.

OK see I am sleep deprived and I keep going in circle here.I'm gonna finish this up and do what I have to do to get some rest. I think a bowl of coco pebbles is calling my name.... ahhhhh SHOOT! just remembered the nurse suggested no caffeine - ouch I guess Im gonna be a real bitch in the am and the whole ride over to Slidell. My poor husband- with witnesses I say now - anything I say or due between now and march 3rd (last scheduled treatment) cannot be held against me. Blame it on the "Ca ah ah ah ah ah a feene"! lol.... i am not kidding - no coffee, no sleep = one ticked off chick......................nite my friends I'll update this tomorrow evening. I was hoping I could take a quick pic if no one is there with me at a certain point, i don't go anywhere without my camera :)      until next time....E




Nanny & Aiden the night before Chemo starts

Paran & Nanny lovin on this sweet angel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Me and the Girls having fun with my wig and some hats!



Ready & waiting

How many of you remember when you were going on your first date with that special someone? Ladies this one is for you......

The date is set. What's the first thing you do? GO SHOPPING - buy a new outfit, new shoes, etc...
and then you anxiously wait for the day to arrive and the night before you are so excited  you just can't stand it. And then the day of you make sure everything is perfect, you put on the new outfit, the new shoes (are painful but cute), your hair and makeup are flawless. You have everything you need in your purse and then he arrives.

Well this is how I feel right now. I am anxiously awaiting my date of my first chemo treatment. Mom and I went wig shopping for wig #2 - the full one. She got me some new comfy chemo clothes. Wayne has bought me some fancy chemo shoes (some light slip on tennis shoes), and a new blanket. My chemo date bag is already packed and contains my blanket and 2 good books I have been waiting to read, and a bag of Cheese Puffs. Thursday morning I will put some bottled water and juices in my bag as well. I am ready and waiting for my chemo date to get here. Am I crazy or what?!

Fr Seelos


Mom and I visited the Shrine of Ft Seelos last Friday. It is located at 919 Josephine St, in NOLA. I recommend everyone go and see this beautiful place. Not only is it full of incredible facts and relics, your  heart will be so joyous when you leave there. He has chosen me to pray to him and he has not let me down. Please send him a prayer of Thanks for this and pray that he will soon be made a Saint in our catholic Church.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ellen's Angels

before we even had a clue that this was the big "c" and I was just in alot of pain and so much pain medicine a group of FRIENDS banned together to help me becasue I just couldn't function. They cooked my family meals, ran errands for me, layed in bed and laughed and cried with me. WITHOUT knowing how seriously sick I was. Then we found out just how sick.... and again they banned together and they come to me and listen and we laugh and cry together. They are Ellen's Angels, they are MY ANGELS. I really don't know what I would or could do without them. I am so so fortunate to have my MOM and POP support me through this and they mean so much to me, their love could never be replaced. But MY ANGELS here in the Bay are just such a positive support system that electrifies me and consistently brings me the energy I need to fight this. I have always known the love of my family, my brother, my sister, my POP and especially my MOM - there's never been a day that I havent felt their love. BUT again Ellen's Angels have brought a new love into my life. These women are strong, beautiful, selfless and encouraging. There is no jealously or hatred in their hearts when it comes to their friends. I truly appreciate what each one brings to me and all on different levels. Some are spiritual some are humor some are tear flowers etc..... each one brings me something that I need to fight this battle. So here's to the original Ellen's Angels - Tammy, Danielle, Alicia, Ellen, Kelly, Susan, and Andrea and to some possibly future angels that are awaiting the right time to enter my life..... I love every single one of you and will never forget what you have done for me and my family! PS to show you how much I am loved and how special these girls are - Danielle and Alicia want to shave their heads with me - naturally I said NO WAY - but if I would agree I know they certainly would do it - that is something that I will always remember..... Angels, Friends, and all mine!

Port is in

Well I had my procedures done yesterday. Doc biopsied some tissue and drained about a liter of fluid from the outer lung and he put my beautiful Bard Power Port in. (no move low cut shirts MOM! so much for that 5k I spent 3 years ago LOL). I came home after the procedures and have had no pain from any of the procedures which is just another blessing from Ft Seelos. I had a great day today - mostly rested in my new recliner (compliments of Mom and Pop). So I go to see Dr McKelveen my HOT oncologist on Thursday. He will be going over biopsy results and setting up my chemo for the week after. FINALLY getting this show on the road. Some positive news from Doc Gray the surgeon - there are 2 spots very small on my spine that my onco seems to think may be the spread of the cancer - BUT Doc Gray really believes it is just some arthritis. Doc Gray looked at the films and is confident it is not cancer. So another thing added to my prayers to Ft Seelos is that Doc Gray is right and Doc Hottie is wrong. Will post an update Thursday..... oh and thank you for all of your encouraging words you are posting - I need to hear and read these things! MUAH!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

ME

I am starting this blog thanks to my friend Sue who shared her Sister-in-law Janelle's Blog with me a few weeks ago. Janelle is also a friend of mine and I was so upset when I heard about her having the "C" word. I read her blog and instead of crying like I thought I would, I was laughing my ass off astounded by her sense of humor. She is an amazing woman and I love her!

I am sharing the link to this blog with my closest friends so that 1. I don't have to repeat myself over 20 times each day, and 2. I can express myself at any hour of the day or night (I am up at 4:30 am every morning for some reason) and I won't have to interrupt your day or wake you in the night to hear me feel sorry for myself. (even though I know none of you would mind)

Some of you I have known for over 20 years (ouch), and some just a few,so let me just put my life into one small paragraph to get everyone on the same page. At the age of 15 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease, I went through surgery and radiation treatments,no chemo. The radiation they used then (25 years ago) was a direct radiation which caused my skin on my neck to burn terribly and I did loose some hair on my lower part of my head from the ears down. Nothing to humiliating as I just let my hair grow to cover it up some. Most of you know the story so I am not going to relive it. I was told then by my doctor that I would be at greater risk of other cancers later in life such as breast cancer, thyroid, lung and uterine cancer. At the time my great surgeon used extra precaution on my ovaries and surgically tacked them behind my womb to try and protect them from the radiation so that I may one day have children. Even with this extra precaution he said I only had about a 15% chance but it was better than frying my eggs and having no chance at all. Dont let me fool you that time in my life was extremely difficult. I was 15 and I had cancer. My poor Mother, what she went through. I cant even imagine the pain she experienced. It was hard on all of us. I didnt want her to know how terrified I was or how sick I sometimes felt and I tried to hide it by playing the strong, positive, "nothings gonna get me down" role. And she did the same thing acting confident and strong. Neither one us wanted to see each other cry. I guess now looking back at it, she must have been confiding in my Mi Mi (her Mother). Me on the other hand, Ionly had one or two friends that I confided in (Sandra & Ryan). I knew I could be me in front of them and they didnt care. Other friends didn't really "get it" or were afraid of "it". Well after a hard,long road filled with secret tears, some painful tests, and lots and lots of prayer I went into REMISSION, every cancer patients dream word.

As the months and years pass you become more and more thankful for your health. I was a normal teenager again who wanted to be Madonna. I drove a cool car, had a great family, good friends etc.... no worries.... In 1992 I got married and Dr. Browns little tacking of the ovaries worked and God gave me 3 beautiful, healthy babies. Through my 20's and 30's everything was great, no real health worries except one. I did have my thyroid removed due to a tumor caused by the radiation I had had so many years before. Thank God it was benign. I was looking forward to turning 40 - I thought it would be the best decade of my life. I looked good, I felt good, my family was all healthy, I was ready! Then I turned 41 and my life has once again been turned upside down and inside out.

Approximately the second week of August I began to have some back pain,kind of where you would hurt if you were having a kidney infection. I had gone to my chiropractor for about 2 weeks thinking I had either hurt myself moving furniture a few weeks before or hurt my back going down a waterslide (yeah I know, don't even go there). My chiropractor took a few xrays and didnt see any kidney stones but felt I should go and see a medical doctor. Well I went and did what I had to do. The pain began to increase and I was prescribed Hydrocodone. They knock me out pretty good. For 3 weeks my life consisted of doctors, pain pills and sleeping. I couldn't do anything but lay there. I was miserable. Finally I went to a back specialist who told me as 2 other doctors had that there was some fluid on my lung and he felt that the pain I was experiencing was from that fluid. He walked me out of his office sending me directly to a pulmonary specialist, Dr Dale. After much researching and testing (ultrasounds, CT Scans,PET Scans etc...) it has been determined that I have LUNG CANCER. I won;t lie just writing those words, reading them, saying them in my mind ughhhh it makes my stomach turn, and I want to throw up. Don't ask me what kind, what stage, etc... they don't know. My oncologist basically said Lung Cancer is Lung Cancer. There's more that I could go in to but I feel nauseated right now thinking of the details so perhaps a later time......

So here's the bottom line - CHEMO. 1 treatment every 3 weeks. Will lose my hair (not such a horrible thing - my hair sucks) and will have some nausea and lots of fatigue. This is a very aggressive chemo plan so he says. I have some positive things on my side, my age, no other health problems, no shortness of breath or other pulmonary issues. Now I just have to be strong and fight it head on. I can do that. After 13 weeks ( I think I have lost track) we finally get the real ballrolling TOMORROW. I am having one more biopsy done, some more fluid drained from the outer tissue of the lung, and my port is being put in. Next Week I start CHEMO. It's strange but I am so ready for this to start. I want to get this fight started, I am trying to be positive even though I keep breaking down. I think the tears are more frustration becasue it has taken so damn long to diagnose me. We could have started chemo weeks ago. I feel like time is everything. Remember not to waste time on stupid things like fighing with your spouse, or worrying about your perfectly clean house instead of going to your kids football practice. TIME is something we all have - it's how we choose to spend it that matters. That's a rant for another day.

So here's to the start of my new battle, but this time so much more is on the line. My Mother who has to go through this all over again, My Pop who I've never seen cry in over 20 years until now has to deal with this now too, my sister and brother, my inlaws and friends, my husband and most of all my children. I will fight for them. I want ot see graduations, and proms, and wedding gowns and baby showers. I want ot be a grandmother one day and spoil more babies. I have so much to live for and fight for that I cant stop thinking about it every second. Tomorrow is the first step - putting in the port. Next week begins the first treatment.

I have so many stories to share with you all that I will be blogging quite often. But before I go tonight I ask each of you to reach out and say a prayer to Father Seelos. He will be my guide through this journey and he will be healing me. In fact his healing has already begun. So please as you pray for me, thank him for healing me and ask him to please continue to heal me and take away my pain so that I can enjoy my life, my family, and my friends as much as possible.

Until next time......