Be More Clear

I ran into a friend yesterday, and she asked, “Are you okay?” She had a look of concern on her face, and I assured her that I was. She had read my Blog about the Cancer scare, and wanted to make sure I was all good. She is not the only friend that wasn’t sure, so let’s see if I can be more clear.

A lot of what we go through in life is a test of some sort.

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I don’t believe there is Cancer in my breast. The technician wasn’t sure what she was seeing during the sonogram, so I had the films sent to my Oncologist who knows my history. He didn’t see anything concerning, but wants to see my next film in six months. I’m not worried, so don’t you be either!

God used that situation to reach the right people, and I now have really good health insurance! WooHoo!

In March, or April of next year, I will have another mammogram, and have faith for God’s best. Since walking out of the imaging center a month ago, I have made life changes, and am still making them. When God shows me His best, I want to give Him my best in return. The entire incident brought this to the forefront of my mind. “What do I want my life to look in six months? Am I living God’s best?”

In Six Months

Once you have Cancer, it doesn’t completely leave your mind.

I said no to going to see my Breast Surgeon. Instead, I called the imaging center, and asked them to send the films to my Oncologist. If I had to choose who to go see, it would be him. His office called and he agreed with the Radiologist. He’s not concerned, but wants to see me in six months.

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When I left the imaging center, those words were playing on a loop in my mind. “See you in six months.” How would I live my life the next six months? What have I been putting off doing? I listened to my heart the whole way home.

As soon as I walked through the door, I bought concert tickets to see Noah Gundersen.

My daughter has seen him in concert, and he is one of our favorite artists. He’s not very well-known, so the tickets are cheap. She wants me to see him in concert, and she asked for these tickets as part of her birthday in August.

She had a priority list of things she’d like for her birthday, and we did everything on her little list, except the tickets. He’s playing in Houston, so that meant spending the night. I called my co-worker, and asked if I could work her hours. She said yes, so I made the extra money to enjoy the upcoming concert, and we will spend the night in Houston.

My daughter thought maybe I cancelled my appointment because of money. I said, “No darling. We have the money, but we are going to see Noah, and cherish the moment.”

 

Wait With Me

I write about a beautiful life, and that is my hearts desire to share with you. Right now, I feel the need to get this out, and writing always helps soothe the soul.

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Once again, I am waiting.

Last Friday, I went in for my 6 month checkup, and had a mammogram.

It began as routine, and then the technician came in for more scans. This is the left breast that held Cancer last year. After having 6 scans, I was escorted into the sonogram room. The technician rolled the handheld device over my breast for what seemed like a very long time. She sent the scans to be reviewed by the doctor, and in came the doctor.

The doctor tried to sound casual as she spoke. “You have a couple of areas I’m not sure about, but they are not screaming Cancer to me. I’d like to see you again in six months.”

Does Cancer scream?

I left there concerned, but not worried. Wasn’t going to jump to any conclusions until my Oncologist saw the film. I knew she would know if there was any cause for concern.

She called today and wants to see me. “There are areas of concern…” Her first available appointment is 10/24, which is almost two weeks away. I ask that you wait with me.

God Uses Scraps

The saying, “Big Hot Mess”, has new meaning to me. I just watched a video by Steve Harvey, and he broke it down simply. Let’s see if I can do the same.

I like simple. There is nothing fancy about me, but I’m happy. I had fancy, but my life was not a happy life. I could walk through my home, and see pretty things, but I couldn’t look in a mirror.

You see, my then husband and I were living above our means. We were buying all these beautiful, expensive things, and putting them on credit cards. That will be in the book I’m writing, but I haven’t needed to use a credit card in 5 years. Lesson learned.

Steve Harvey used to work for Ford Motor Company. He was a foundry which builds the engine block. The block is the foundation of the engine. You have to have a solid block before adding pieces to the engine. It all begins with scraps. Twenty something years later, Steve is a spokesman for Ford.

Ford uses scrap metal to build their engine blocks. The scraps are laying in a junk yard, and look useless. Are you underneath a pile of junk? Like some of the things that are happening in your life right now feel overwhelming? You may be in the furnace being melted, so God can use you!

hotmessWhen I was willing to let all that stuff go. To walk out of the glass house I had built for myself, it was like God said, “Yay! There you are. Let’s get to work!!!”

You see, I was a mess. I felt like a car that had been wrecked. I was so tired of keeping up with the Jones’, and I didn’t even know anybody with the last name Jones!

All the pieces of my past. Everything I had been through were piling up. I was my own personal junkyard, and the pile was getting pretty intense! Then here comes God.

Steve Harvey showed a video of how an engine block is made. They would dump all that scrap metal into a fiery furnace, and it would melt down into liquid form. A machine would pour the liquid into a mold, and here comes my favorite part…A giant claw would come by and grab the mold! Have you been melted down, and then grabbed by God?

Well, hold on tight baby cuz this is where it gets good!!!

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Going through Breast Cancer last year changed me. I had been writing for three years, and felt like I was doing okay with it. Those three years were my ‘push ups’.

Can you do pushups? They start out small, but the more you do them, the better it gets. What starts out with 5 pushups, goes to 10 pretty soon, and as long as you keep doing it, (like writing, and publishing each Blog), you are at 100 before you know it.

Well, I had written over 350 posts, and found out I have Cancer. I wrote less last year, but when I could think, I wrote. God was refining me. He used what I was going through not only to encourage others, but to melt me down, and pour me into His mold for me.

When I first started writing, I was covered in junk. Writing has been a very healing process, but you see, I was choosing what to write. I was picking up a piece from the top of the pile, and writing about that. I would ask God to bless it and write it.

Then after doing so many pushups, I was getting stronger but not becoming more brave. I was not brave enough to share the really good stuff. The stuff that was painful to share. That is where Cancer came in. Through Cancer, God made me brave.

Steve mentions in the video that once the hot liquid becomes solid, his job was to hit it with a sledgehammer. Wait….I’m having a Pat Benatar moment.

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After about 3 weeks into Chemo, I would come home and pass out. It started off slow and was a gradual buildup of the toxins invading my body to kill that major toxin. Once I had more of the bad stuff in me, than good, God would hit me with his mighty hand.

Like a sledgehammer.

People would ask me what it felt like to have Chemo. I would sorta laugh and tell them, “It feels like being hit by something a lot bigger than me!” My God is big!

Steve would hit the block with a sledgehammer, to make sure it was solid. To make sure there were no air holes, or loose pieces. Then here comes the best part. If it passed the test….wait, did you get that? Let me write it in bold for ya….”If it passed the test…“, the block would continue down the conveyor belt and start receiving additional pieces.

Am I preachin good? We have to be solid before God will add anything else!!!

If you have made it this far into what I’ve been trying to share, you are a Badass! This is probably one of my longer ones, but it has been spirit led. I will not put any restraints on what God wants me to share. No more picking what to write from the top of the pile.

I know you have already spent a good chunk of your time with me, and I am grateful, but if you can spare 30 more minutes, here is the video by Steve Harvey. Be blessed.

Test of Faith

I haven’t had any reliable Internet the last couple of days. Seymour and I took off, and drove to the beach. We saw the ocean, but it was raining, so we didn’t get to enjoy it as we had planned. The trip wasn’t about walking on the beach. It was about all the time spent together in the car, sharing a room, and talking and listening to one another’s life stories.

As I was driving to my Mammogram appointment Thursday morning, all these recollections of my Breast Cancer journey came to mind. Driving down a country road, toward the city, I saw a slide show before me. Moments where my faith was tested, and I was ready to call it quits. Seymour mentioned that I suffered in silence, so why did I feel so exposed?

I arrived at my appointment, was escorted to a screening room, and stood before that massive machine for the first time in a year. The last time I was there, I could only hug it, and sob. This time was different. The technician had to keep moving the machine upwards to accommodate my height. I was stronger now, so maybe I was standing a little bit taller.

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The technician used the machine to take pictures of both breasts in 3D. When she was done, I went to sit in a private lounge, just for women waiting for the test, or the results.

I sat down across from a woman, I guessed to be retirement age. She had been crying, and was clutching the front of her gown, trying to keep it from falling open. I had been right where she was sitting, so I asked her, “Are you okay?” She started to cry some more.

She told me that she had been so faithful with her Mammograms. She had received one every year for as far back as she could remember. She was late in getting this one, and when she did, they saw something concerning. They had just done a more in depth one, and she was waiting to hear the next steps. She was at her beginning, and I was at my end.

The first thing I assured her of was, there is no such thing as ‘late’. You are here now, and that is all that matters. I shared the names of all my doctors with her, and she frantically took notes. The technician came back to get me, and as I left, I looked at her and said, “God bless you.” She whispered the same to me, and I told her, “He does everyday love.”

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My journey created a profound intimacy with God. It’s still there, even though my journey was coming to a close. God was getting ready to test my faith, as see what I had learned.

The technician escorted me to a different room, which I recognized immediately. There was the table I had laid on during my biopsy. She asked me to lay on the table, and open the right side of my gown. I laid down, and asked her, “You realize the lump was in my left?”

She said, “Oh I know Mrs. Holmes, but we saw something in the right that we need to take a closer look at.” My world stopped. I realized I had been so concerned about the left one, that I hadn’t paid much attention to the right. I felt the warm gel hit my breast, and the wand of the sonogram machine started sliding around. At that point, I lost all control.

I broke down, and started sobbing on the table. The female technician patted my arm, reassuring me that it was all okay. I told her, “I cannot do this again! I cannot go through it all again!!!” But you know what? If I needed to go through it again, God would be there. My next thought was, I would have both breasts removed, so at least I could come back as a 36C!

She completed the sonogram, and left the room to review the results with the Oncologist. When she returned, she exclaimed, “You are all good Mrs. Holmes! It’s only a cyst!” There was more than one test given here, and thanks be to God that I was able to pass ’em both.

Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

First and Last

I woke up this morning to the sweetest Meme awaiting approval on my Facebook Timeline. She posted it my personal page, but I met this woman on my Letitgocoach Facebook Page.

tycoach2This is not the first time, and I hope it won’t be the last. To hear it is oh so sweet.

The appointment with my Oncologist went very well on Monday. We basically thanked one another for being there, and said our good-byes. He said if anything comes up where I need him, to just call. Well, let’s just say, “Thank you Doc, but I hope this is the last time.”

I have my mammogram tomorrow morning. This will be the first one in exactly one year. The first time I had one it showed the lump in my breast, and was extremely painful! They are not supposed to be painful lovely. I had waited until I couldn’t wait any longer to go have the mammogram. I remember standing there, hugging the machine, and sobbing.

This one won’t be painful, unless I have a really sucky technician. My hope is that I have the same one I had the first time, so she can see what God did in that year.

I’m a completely different woman from the first time, but it won’t be my last.

My surgeon wants me to have one every 6 months for two years. I looked at her like, “Gosh! Will this journey ever end?” The journey continues, and I’m just better than I was at the first. Thank you God it wasn’t my last.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

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My comment yesterday about the human cock, worried some friends. Maybe they think I’m going to start writing about my sex life, and turn x-rated. I don’t feel a need to give you the details of something so sacred to me. Some things are best kept in the bedroom.

In finding a more authentic me, do I need to spill my guts?

If so, it will fall to the pages of a journal. You read about my past loves quite frequently, but I don’t use their name. What you read is what I learned from the encounter, not always the encounter itself. I wasn’t ready for most of what happened in my life, so why would I expect you to be. Placing a name to the feelings I may be wrestling with is like blaming them for what I feel. No darling. I’m a big girl, and I make my own choices.

I feel at a very infinite level. There is scar tissue inside of me, not only from the Breast Cancer, but life itself. The scars are proof enough I showed up for it, and you get to read the beauty of it. There is enough hurt in the world. I am here to share the healing.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

And It’s Over

It has been a day of celebration for me. No more Cancer, and no more treatment!

Just three more days, and my 30 days of writing will come to an end. God knows I have a thing about 3 days. He always shows me something in that amount of time.

I am curled up on my bed, and sitting on one of my favorite blankets

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Just look at that Mama. It is an awesome cloud of gentle goodness! This is the blanket I took to Chemo with me each week, and wrapped myself in it during the treatment. A friend gave it to me for that reason. She wanted me to have some type of comfort in that uncomfortable position. It gave me great comfort, and still does.

Have you ever met someone online, and hit it off with them immediately? Now, I know some of you probably have some horror stories about that, but I have a few girlfriends I have met through social media, but not in person. It feels like we have known each other forever, but we haven’t. Just kindred souls it would seem.

Today I got to meet one of them face to face. It was my last Radiation treatment, and we met for lunch afterwards. She started my day, celebrating my journey on Facebook, and then she met me in person to continue the celebration. We met at a lovely restaurant, and had the place pretty much to ourselves. We shared an appetizer, and then this happened.

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Before we could decide what to order for lunch, the waitress brought these.

The manager had given us a serving of each one of their desserts. Now, everyone knows I love cake, and I had mentioned that we would be eating cake today, but this?

It is just like God to give me more than I was expecting. It was beautiful sitting there chatting with Seymour, (her pen name) and willingly placing myself in a sugar coma!

My daughter stayed home today while I was away. She did her schooling, and even took a Grammar and Composition test, which I will check once I’m done typing. I have learned to take advantage of the quiet moments. To do things in that moment, that generally flow better, opposed to when there are distractions. The house looks and smells beautiful.

That is what we do. We care for one another, and bring beauty in focus. She cleaned the kitchen, tidied up the house, did her schooling, and probably 100 other little things I have yet to notice. Her best girlfriend is spending the weekend with us, so they are at dinner now. She got pushed for time, and was distressed that her closet had landed on her bed.

After she left, I went into her room, and hung everything up. Then I lit a candle and closed the door. When she walks into her bedroom, her bed will look inviting, and her room will smell like the peach candle. We do this type thing for each other all the time, and I love it.

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This is her mug, but I borrowed it for today. It’s holding one of my favorite red teas, and I brought it to the bedroom to enjoy in closing. Thank you for sitting here, and sharing in my day of celebration. The Cancer treatment is over, but thank God the journey continues.

Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

It’s Almost Over

A year changes you a lot. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, the lump in my left breast was so painful, I could hardly breathe. Fast forward to this moment. I have one more Radiation treatment left. That lump is not there anymore, and this Breast Cancer Journey is ending.

Every ending has a new beginning. Sitting here at my laptop, I’m not certain what that looks like, but I know it will come. My daily routine will have a hole to be filled.

My daughter didn’t sleep well lastnight because Numi was in her room. She wouldn’t settle down, and go to sleep like she normally does in the hallway, so tonight Numi will have different sleeping arrangements made for her. A good night’s sleep is very important. It sets the tone for the following day, and tomorrow is a day of celebration.

There were parts of this journey that taught me to celebrate something as simple as breathing. I couldn’t have coffee during Chemo, but today I am savoring a cup of freshly ground drip. Each day is a celebration. It has taken time, but it’s almost over.

 

 

 

I Don’t Wanna

I didn’t really wanna write today. This is Day 20 of challenging myself to write everyday for 30 days. It comes very easily for me now, but as you can see, I waited all day to do it!

I woke up this morning physically tired. It’s not unusual for a Friday because I just had 5 straights days of driving back and forth to Radiation. It’s a 45 minute drive there, and back, for a 15 minute appointment. Today, I slowed way down, and took some time for myself.

More life. Less rush.

Yesterday, I thought more coffee was the answer to get me through the day. After leaving Radiation, I drove to one of my favorite coffee shops downtown. Beside the coffee shop is one of my favorite shops. It’s owned by a mother, and daughter, and they have some of the prettiest things! They have a floral department in the back, so I popped in there first.

I have become friends with the mother, and she knows all about my Breast Cancer Journey. We talked, and got caught up on each others life. By now, I am standing in front of the cooler gazing at the flowers. I asked about the purple Hydrangeas, but she wasn’t sure they would last long. There were three of them, and one had started to wilt, so the others would too.

She said, “They might last a day.” I told her I would take them and love them for today.

She opened the cooler, and pulled them out. We walked over to the counter where I was ready to pay her for them, but no. She handed them to me with a wink and a big smile.

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I leaned over the counter, gave her a hug and whispered in her ear, “I love you!”

She responded with the same, and I made my way over to the coffee shop. I brought them home, cut the stems short, and put them in water. By the look of them, I knew they would be pretty for at least one day, but I wasn’t sure if any longer than that. When I saw them this morning, they were more beautiful than yesterday! They had perked up and in full bloom!

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” ~Alexander Den Heijer~

 

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Barbara is a Writer, a Letting Go Coach, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com