When our holiday catalog was released, I combed through the pages to see what would be my favorite new stamp set to work with. This year the choice was easy! I picked the stamp set Snowman Season which is a part of the BEAUTIFUL Let it Snow suite seen on pages 18-20 of the holiday catalog.
I LOVE snowmen. Very soon we will pull out our Christmas decorations which include an entire bin full of snowmen that I set up in my kitchen. Believe it or not, I even have a Christmas tree that is dedicated to just snowman ornaments. Just thinking about it makes me happy and I look forward to decorating this year.
As you know this season is going to be different. Upon receiving the news that I have two different types of stage 4 Lymphoma, I realized that this battle would be taking place during my MOST favorite time of the year. My treatment plan that started this month will continue until the start of the new year if all goes as planned. At first, I was really bummed. I realized that this would affect so many things. My mind was filled with thoughts such as, what would happen to the holiday traditions I love? How will this affect my business with me not holding classes or events? How will I get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas when I am not going out of the house except for Dr’s appointments and treatment? Will I even be here to celebrate the holidays with my family this year? Then I realized that I needed to let all of that go. Instead, I want to embrace this new season and allow God to direct my steps each day and I feel like its going to be one of the best holiday seasons ever because I have recently become aware of how much LOVE surrounds me and how incredibly BLESSED I am. God is so good.
When you face challenges you have an opportunity to either grumble or to find reasons to be grateful. Although I have had moments where I do grumble, I am working at keeping an attitude of gratitude because I know that when I am grateful it draws me closer to God. This awareness brings me peace and joy even in the midst of a storm. When I sit back and count my blessings, I realize I have SO much to be thankful for.
One of the things I am grateful for today is the ability to breathe. For the past several months I have been so extremely exhausted because I simply couldn’t catch my breath. I was so weak and tired I could barely move from the couch to the kitchen without having to reach for my emergency asthma inhaler. There were even days that I thought would be my last because I felt so exhausted from the struggle to breathe.
My treatment started 2 weeks ago. I went into with a positive attitude believing because I had been feeling so bad, treatment would make me feel better and guess what? It DID!!!
I know that everyone who goes through chemo experiences different things. Common symptoms are a tin taste in your mouth, mouth sores, nausea, extreme fatigue, hair loss, etc. I was told by more than one person that whatever I experience in the first round, I will experience in all the rounds. So, for instance, if on day 2 I feel nauseous, I should expect that day 2 of round 2 I will feel the same. I was also told that I should feel the worst the second week when my immune system is at its lowest.
So far, my journey has been that the first week I felt mostly tired with occasional feelings of being nauseous but I was able to manage that with medicine. The first week also felt like it dragged on forever and I felt discouragement thinking I had 5 more rounds to go and that seemed like an eternity. But besides being a bit discouraged, tired and slightly nauseous, I wasn’t feeling that bad. In comparison to what I was feeling prior to chemo, I was feeling great.
Week 2, the one I was told I would feel the worst happened, and guess what? I feel even better, stronger and have more energy than I’ve had in weeks. I was able to bake a batch of healthy pumpkin muffins. I was able to stamp one card. I was able to go for a ride on errands with my husband on the weekend and although I stayed in the car, it was nice to just be out of the house and take in the beauty of God’s creation all around me. I am amazed, God is certainly answering prayers.
Speaking of prayers, I have been so filled with awe at the amount of people that are praying for me. I can feel the prayers and they have given me so much peace. I also am surrounded by so much love and acts of kindness that have inspired me to want to do more for others to make a difference.
I know this Holiday Season is going to be different. We are skipping putting up Fall decorations this year, but thats ok. The pumpkin muffins I made provided the house with such a wonderful smell of Fall! God also blessed us with a couple of really wet rainy days where it was fun to be indoors looking out at my plants, that desperately needed watering, get watered from above!!! Guess what, I’ve already done some online Christmas shopping too.
I was told that my hair should be gone on the fourteenth day, which was yesterday. A day where I had a visit from Carlene, one of my childhood friends, whom I hadn’t seen in 38 years. I warned her in advance that I might be bald when she came over and she reminded me that beauty has nothing to do with your hair. What a sweet reminder from my thoughtful and caring friend.
My hair has begun to fall out, a little. Whenever I brush it, there are more stands than usual coming out. I am not sure what I think about losing it, but I’m keeping a positive attitude. I think until it happens, I won’t know exactly how I will feel about it. Who knows maybe I will love having the opportunity to wear different colored wigs so I can be blonde one day and a red head the next!! Again, I am just taking life one day at a time and asking God to give me the strength, I know that He is with me every step of the way.
As far as my Stampin’ Up! business goes, I hope to find a way to continue my classes this season, even if I am not the one running them. I have had a few very kind offers from people willing to host the classes for me. I haven’t decided yet if this will be possible, but I HOPE to be able to have at least one or two.
I have set up a Hostess Code for October, it is DA74ZQVV. So, if there is ANYTHING you need, please go to my online store and use this code. If you need a holiday catalog, let me know and I’ll do my best to get one to you.
I am also very excited to say that two of my favorite holiday traditions will be moving forward as planned. The first is our annual Stamp Camp. My leadership team has set EVERYTHING up and invitations have gone out, I believe there are only a few spots left and registration closes this week. If you didn’t get a registration form and would like one, let me know asap as registration closes this week. The theme is Snowman Season and will feature products from the Let Is Snow Suite I shared with you about at the start of this post. When I received my set, here is the first card I made.
You know I HAD to do this!!! This brought back memories of building sandmen at the beach with my kids when they were younger. The hula skirt was made using our Dino Dies. I just cut two pieces and used Paper Snips to trim them a tiny bit. Here’s a closer look.
The second card I created was for a swap that I do every year with my advisory board sisters. They are some of my favorite stampers who create such beautiful cards.. The cards I swapped with them will be on display at the October 26th, 2019 Snowman Season stamp camp.
This card is done in non traditional colors. I made it with my friend Kim Williams in mind who hosted the swap. Kim loves pink and is also a breast cancer survivor like me.
The sentiment on this card says, “Hoping this season builds heartwarming memories”. I love this and believe this will be true for us as a family. I can already see how my diagnosis has brought us closer together and on top of all the love we already share as a family we are so excited that we will soon welcome a new addition to our family, when Kalani and Joyce’s baby is born. What an exciting season this will be to build heartwarming memories.
The second event that will be happening this season is our annual HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS craft fair. Save the date for Saturday, November 30th in Waikele. I will have more details out as it draws closer. My daughter Jessica has offered to run my table for me and a special group of my demonstrator friends from the mainland have already been sending me items for my table. I can’t wait to show you their creations. I have offered to send them money, supplies, etc but so far everyone has just shared how they have loved being able to do something for me to help me through this season. What a labor of love, I don’t know how to thank them enough. Knowing that this tradition will continue just makes me soooooooo happy. I haven’t checked the calendar to see where I will be in my treatment plan at this time but I HOPE I’ll be able to at least stop by because this event is one of my most favorite holiday traditions and thanks to this creative and thoughtful group of demonstrators, my table this year will be better than it ever has been in the past! What a blessing!
As I end this post I just want to say thank you again because I know its so many of you, my blog followers, who have been sending me so much encouragement and hope! I so appreciate you lifting me up daily in your prayers. Your prayers are being answered and I am soooooo grateful.
With SNOW much LOVE and a heart filled with GRATITUDE,