Reflections ~ Biopsy Results: Gratitude Journal #9

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This past week has been very emotional! I spent most of it waiting for my biopsy results. I was in good shape for the most part, until Wednesday came. I felt anxiety creeping in as I began to think about how these results were going to change my life. I waited for the Nurse Practitioner to call me with the results and the morning whirled by and my anxiety began rising. The office’s lunch period quickly came and went and I decided to call if I hadn’t heard from her by 2:00pm.

Finally, the call I’d waited for six days finally came. I was so nervous as I answered the telephone. My stomach was in knots as I thought about the possibilities that were before me. Benign or Cancerous? Radiation or Chemo and a Full Hysterectomy, or just a Full Hysterectomy. I gasped for air as she began explaining the results of my biopsy. She stated that what looked like fibroid tissue was in fact endometrial tissue growing deep with in the uterine wall. The baffling thing is there was no blood source attached to the growth, but the great thing about the mass was it was COMPLETELY BENIGN!

BENIGN. Yes, it was benign! I was transferred to the scheduler to get my Hysterectomy date, and we confirmed May 10th. I will stay over at the hospital for one night and then I will be released to go home and all of this ordeal will be OVER!!!!

I spent Wednesday night celebrating my results! I called friends, sent text messages and took pictures to remember this moment. I needed to remember THIS moment! I needed to remember how I was feeling at the moment I heard that the mass within me was benign. I will always remember this moment and I am so grateful that I have had a wonderful medical team that always listens to me and advocates for my best health.

I am so grateful for my family and friends for their support. I am especially grateful that this entire process will soon be a part of my past.

I do not have uterine cancer — whew it feels great to be able to say that! But I have to acknowledge the thousands of women that are diagnosed with uterine cancer and cervical cancer because my heart pours out to you. The mental anguish that one suffers through the discovery process is unbelievable. My prayers are with you and your families!

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Gratitude Journal #7

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I’ve been working really hard to stay on top of my blog posts by following my published schedule in spite of the current chaos called my life.

Today, I gave myself permission to not write my Gratitude Journal because I was tired and going out to a family dinner with a family from Church. I was so excited when my husband came home to get cleaned up for us to go out to dinner (which is very rare) we grabbed our jackets and drove exactly four blocks from our house and KABLAM! Our tire popped 😦

So on this beautiful Friday evening, as we sit near Ocean Beach listening to the sound of the waves, the clicking sound of our hazard lights and feel the crisp air on our skin, I am grateful for this little hiccup in my plans. It gave me a few minutes to

s-l-o-w  d-o-w-n

and write my Gratitude Journal (thanks to WordPress on my iPhone) on its scheduled day.

I am grateful that our tire giving way did not lead to an accident. I am grateful for this quiet time with my husband away from our children. I am grateful that we are still able to go to dinner with our friends and I am especially grateful to have this loving man who is scrounging through all of the stadium chairs that we haul everywhere in our trunk for our kids soccer games to get to the spare tire. I am grateful that he is not complaining. I am grateful for his presence. I am grateful that he is my husband and he is a great man that I love with all of my heart.

Love,

Sammie

Gratitude Journal #6 ~ Thankful for Chaos

What a week and I am grateful even among the chaos of overscheduling!  This week has been incredibly busy.  My smaller children are blessed with wonderful activities and friends and we have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to be stressed.

My 21-year-old gave a message at Church this Sunday for their Campus Ministry Retreat this weekend. PROUD can’t describe how I felt with what he shared. Just a year ago, he attended that retreat and three months later he was baptized and gave his life and worries to the LORD!

Baseball session is in full swing and my 11-year-old’s coaches are WONDERFUL!  He has three practices a week and his confidence is really blossoming under their guidance.

My 10-year-old daughter served as the Mistress of Ceremonies at her school’s Black History Month Program on Wednesday, followed by a meeting to discuss her academic plan and current GATE status and we ended the night with her induction into the Citywide Honor Roll.

My husband has been extremely supportive and my friends have rallied around to support me during this uncomfortable time and period of waiting.

I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am.  But most of all I am grateful to know whatever happens I am loved and I have a great supportive people around me.

That’s all for this week.

Love,

Sammie

Gratitude Journal #5 ~ My Parents

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I just want to share how grateful I am to my parents. I am quite sure that my parenting skills come from being raised by caring dedicated parents. Sure we didn’t always see eye to eye and of course we did things that were disappointing to each other but in the larger scheme of things we lived, learned and learned how to adapt to to each others needs.

Now I am a parent and I am truly grateful of all of the things that my parents sacrificed for me.

Love,

Sammie

Gratitude Journal #4

* I am a few days late posting due to a scheduling error on my part.

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This week I am grateful for my friends. The ones that hold me up when I’m falling down. The ones that babysit my kids when I need a break. The ones that drive with me to Napa to pick up wine from Wine Shop At Home Headquarters for a party that got cancelled at the last minute. But they don’t complain and appreciate the time that we are spending together. I appreciate the friend that helps edit my book and keep me prodding along on the path to finish it because her insight and expertise keeps me on my toes.

I am grateful to the friends that help me take my kids to and from their soccer, basketball and baseball games. I am grateful for the friends that helped us move and get settled into our new house. I am so grateful to them and all that they do because they support me and my family in such valuable ways that merely saying thank you is not enough!

I am grateful to have such a great group of people to call friends and “family.”

Gratitude Journal #3 for Dr. Susan Niebur

I wrote Curt Niebur a letter by hand this morning. Yes, Curt is Susan’s husband, so that affectionately makes him whydaddy by default. I had to write him and tell him how blessed I felt that I had the privilege of knowing his wife. Susan died on Monday, February 6, 2012 at the same time as I was burying my “son” Rich. I am comforted in knowing that he was there to great her when she passed.

My words are probably of little comfort to him today, but I hope that one day he will realize that Susan’s life reached thousands of people, dare I say hundreds of thousands of people. Her thoughts and experiences reached and touched people that never had the courage to write her but devoured her every word. Her life had purpose and impact on her family, community, cancer community and of course the blogosphere.

Those of us that did reach out to the heavenly star we knew as Susan, were received warmly, in spite of her daily suffering and pain. She braved a smile for us, she comforted us, she informed us and she lived for all of us. She inspired me in my everyday life and my writing (http://mommagazine.ca/Articles/SammiLove/15Waystohelp.htm) and I often made reference to her and I’d Tweet a Diet Coke toast to her during her treatments. She was a FIGHTER! She was a FRIEND! She was the best and brightest color of the rainbow (PURPLE) and she certainly lights the night as one of heavens brightest stars!

I am grateful for your life, your work, your support, your friendship and you will truly be missed Susan. But you will live on in the sky and forever in my heart!

Love you to infinity and beyond,
Sammie

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Rest In Heaven Among the Stars

Heartbreak & Gratitude ~ Gratitude Journal #2

This week I am both heartbroken and grateful. I am heartbroken by the death of my friends twenty-one year old son. He was not just their son, he was my son. He was a part of my heart and my life since he was eight. He was my oldest son’s friend, confidant, playmate and teammate. He was our families treasure, our hope, our joy. He was a member of our “family” not by birth but by our choice.

Needless to say I am sad, but I am eternally grateful to have had Richard in my life. I was proud to watch his dreams become reality academically, on the basketball court, and as he created his own family. He will live on in my heart. He will live on in his young wife and their newborn son. He was a gift from GOD. A beautiful perfect gift that I will continue to treasure. I will look to him to comfort his parents, my children, and the entire community of “family” that loved him.

• I will be grateful every time I see the sun shining bright like his smile.

• I will be grateful when I pass the outdoor basketball courts where we used to play.

• I will be grateful for all of the time I had with him before GOD called him away.

• I will be grateful to see little pieces of him in his son’s eyes.

• I will be grateful because I know love never dies!

Rest in Heaven Richard Castillo.
Homecoming January 28, 2012

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20 Things I’ve Done In My Life ~ Gratitude Journal

GRATITUDE JOURNAL ENTRY #1 for 2012

I have had a great forty+ years of living and I’ve done some pretty awesome things. There are tons more I’d love to do, but this is not a bad list of my top twenty life highlights for my gratitude journal!

1. Married to a wonderful man.

2. Completed my Masters Degree just before I turned 40 years old.

3. Became a Certified Meeting Planner.

4. Gave birth to amazing children.

5. Became a Soccer Mom.

6. Traveled to: Paris, France.

7. Went Parasailing in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

8. Sang a solo in front of 3000 at a conference.

9. Walked in a 5k race.

10. I was told by my favorite author, Mr. E. Lynn Harris (R.I.P.) “You have the name of an author!”

11. Danced the night away until I had blisters on my feet.

12. Saved someone’s life by performing CPR.

13. Rescued two children out of a burning apartment.

14. Raised $300,000 to renovate a preschool.

15. Voluntarily read through the entire bible.

16. Had an article published in a magazine.

17. Breast Cancer Survivor.

18. Rape Survivor.

19. Written a book on helping children who suffer from the impact of trauma that is currently being edited for publishing in the Summer of 2012.

20. Made the decision to take back my life and get healthy!