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


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

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.


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!


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:

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