You know there are moments in life that define you and this was one of them.  I am definitely a breast cancer survivor and warrior now.  Today I decided that the hair loss was getting worse, and I was ready to just get it over with, so we shaved it off tonight.  To my surprise, I had forgotten about a scar at the beginning of my right forehead hairline from running into a cement tunnel in middle school.  I can't help it that someone called my name while I was running toward the tunnel to hide during hide and go seek distracting me enough to crack my head back.  And yes I continued running on through the tunnel straight to my teacher with a bloody head to tell her I thought I had hurt myself.  Funny times.  Also, I surprisingly have a very smooth, rounded head.  Demi Moore has nothing on me girls.  Just kidding.  My brave husband, Chris, and my sweet princess, Bren, went with me.  I wanted them to be a part of this moment so that we could walk through it together as a family and so Bren wasn't shocked at Mommy's new look.  Chris shed a few tears, which made me cry a little.  Bren did great.  I was nervous cause on the way I talked to her, and she said she was so sad that Mommy's hair would be gone.  However, she came right over to me after it was over and hugged my legs and said, "my Mommy".  It was so sweet and uplifting.  God's hand was definitely in that moment.  It is so weird cause I was so nervous about it right before, but it is kinda freeing in a crazy way.  I'm proud to join those other women in the fight to get our lives back from this terrible beast called cancer.  Cancer doesn't control me.  Only God has control of my life and that is so comforting right now.  I'm just glad to get over another hump in this battle and to have it behind me now.  Yes, I got a wig too that looks a lot like my hair, but I'm not sure what I will be comfortable with just yet.  We'll see.  Well, the good news is that I had my 2nd chemo this past Wednesday (11-30-11) at Northwest, and it went much smoother. My sweet aunt and uncle from Lubbock came up to entertain me cause Chris had to work this time.  My aunt, Phila, is a brave ovarian cancer survivor and finished her chemo at MD Anderson in Houston in February.  She knows firsthand what I'm going through and has been great support for me.  I'm so glad they came to be with me.  It made the time go by faster.  I had my regular concoction of anti-nausea meds for the first hour or so.  Then, came the 10 minute Adriamyacin ("Red Devil") and then Cytoxan for the last hour.  Right after the chemo ended, we attached my Zofran (anti-nausea) pump to my port.  I change out the infusion pump every day to get a continuous supply of the med like when I was in the hospital.  It has made a great difference for sure.  I can't say I haven't had some slight nausea issues or feelings of my stomach being on edge, but it is nothing compared to the road I went down the first time.  This week I worked every day for almost 8 hours each day except today I took off the afternoon to take care of my hair situation.  I'm pretty tired I can say from this week.  I had a lot on my plate between the breast expanders, the chemo, taking care of my pump daily, working long hours, and shaving off my hair.  I'm ready for a relaxing weekend and a slow week coming up.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the beautiful women that I have met along my path that have been supporting me through their past battles or current battles with cancer.  Here they are - Karen, Jenny, Darcie, Mary Ann, Sherry, Phila, Louise, and Jackie.  You women give me such strength and hope for a better tomorrow.  Your strength you have shown and the advice you have given me help me with each hard step along my path.  I am so proud of each of you and thank you for your courage and faith.  God has definitely placed these ladies and many more in my path for a reason, and I can't thank him enough for that.  You don't know what a blessing that is.  God really put things in perspective for me when I was in the hospital cause before that I was so focused on things like the hair loss.  Then, I went down that horrible path of feeling terrible with the nausea and stuff, so now the hair loss seems much easier to swallow having gone through that time.  God has a funny way of showing you things in a different light to help you get through them.  I have tried every day to find many times a day to tell God what I'm thankful for even if it is little things or in times when I'm having a hard time finding something positive to think about.  I do it in my car, walking into work. at work, wherever.  You can never thank him enough for the blessings that he gives us daily.  He loves a thankful heart and for our focus to be on him.  I find that if I focus on him more, I think less of my problems and worries.  It so peaceful and rewarding.  I encourage each of you to seek God on a completely different level than you ever have before and quit making excuses like I did before on why you haven't included him in every aspect of your life daily.  He wants to know each of us more because he never stops loving us or caring about us.  He is so good all the time.  Cancer has saved me in more than one way.  Thanks again for all the support everyone and I hope you enjoy my new look.  God bless. 
HellenAdrian
12/2/2011 23:25:51

You make me so proud to say I know you! What courage you are showing! I know it is hard on you, Chris, and Bren, but what a role modle you are for everyone! Hair will grow back, but honestly, hun, if I thought I would look half as good as you do with it shaved, off it would come! You are beautiful! You are in my prayers daily.

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12/3/2011 01:07:07

Shay, you could not be more beautiful to me. You look super awesome amazing!! I can't help but shed tears as I read your blog. Your honesty, bravery, and God loving spirit inspire me in ways you can not even imagine. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL inside and out whether you have hair or not. I am proud of the fight in you. It is an honor to be your friend. I loove you and I thank God for you.

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Mom
12/3/2011 04:27:21

My sweet Shay, your strength, courage, and faith has touched us all. You truly are my HERO, and have inspired me in ways I cannot even express to you, I do believe with all my heart, that GOD uses his special angels on earth that he knows will be his witnesses and encourages for others. I am soooo proud to be your mom, and have so much treasured the sweet moments that this journey has afforded us. I can only aspire to be a greater person for having gone through this with you, thank you and I love you so very much!

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Kristin Farco
12/3/2011 08:31:19

U look AMAZING!!! U r a beautiful person and I have enjoyed following ur journey. Ur sense of humor through all of this is so inspiring. Reading about ur daughter and husband going with u to shave ur head had me crying like a baby!! The concrete tunnel was a good one I must say cause I know exactly what ur talking about lol. Praying for u always and u seriously look amazing, even better then Demi!!!

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Donna
12/3/2011 08:52:19

You really are an example of strength and faithfulness going along this journey. I love your new do and I know it was a difficult decision, but as great as it looks on you and the time it saves, it just might be a keeper. Thoughts and prayers for you often!!!

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Suz
12/3/2011 09:39:36

Jack said "cool!" I think you look radiant. I hope you rested well and are NOT nauseated. God's spirit shines so brightly through your beautiful smile. Have a blessed weekend with your family.

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Kendi
12/3/2011 09:49:20

Girl, You look so awesome! But, no change there just kicking it up a notch. I am happy hear the nausea is for the most part under control. I am so inspired by you and your willingness to share your heart and soul. I love you so much!! Praying for you daily.

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Julie
12/3/2011 10:53:04

Shay

You are more beautiful than ever! I can't even imagine what you are going thru but what I do know is that if I ever have to face something similar I can only hope to be as courageous and graceful as you. Your battle is helping so many people in ways that you have yet to see. Love you!

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candi
12/3/2011 11:03:16

Shay-
You have a beautiful head! You inspire me, and I am, as always, praying for you.

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Katy
12/3/2011 11:03:57

Shayla you look AMAZING!! I'm typing after using a box of Kleenex after reading your post. Any time I have a bad day I read your posts. You are so inspiring and put things in prospective! I am so proud to call you my cousin! Happy the 2nd round is going better than the first! Pray for a restful weekend for you! Love you!

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Darcie Milsow
12/3/2011 11:47:44

Dear Shayla,
You look so beautiful. Your smile is the first thing I noticed...not your pretty naked head. :-) I am so thankful to GOd that your chemo went better this week. I am sure you are exhausted. I hope you get lots of warm baths and long naps this weekend. As always I pray for you for complete and total healing. For God to give you the time you deserve to spend with your prince and princess. You are such a beautiful mommy....Bren is a lucky girl. I pray for Chris to know the peace and good news that GOd has for you. I pray for his happiness and well being. I pray for Brenley to continue to be comforted by "my mommy" and for God to wrap his arms around her and protect her. I loved reading about your everyday blessings. This week was very hard for me, but it helps to read your words and focus on the blessings that GOd puts in front of me each day. I am so grateful to know you. Our lunch dates are something I truly look forward to and appreciate. God is good and is doing good works in your body. You are the bravest and strongest girl I know. Demi looked butchy...you look like a supermodel. :-) love you girl. You are a rockstar.
Love,
Darcie

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Tony Naples
12/3/2011 11:48:46

Shayla, you're my hero!! You're a beautiful person and I guess you know that your hair will grow back curly! Hang in there sister......from one survivor to another!! ;-)

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val
12/3/2011 14:03:26

shay---

you look beautifu inside and out...

im glad you did it... im glad you had a better week... keep it up, keep fighting girl

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Sharon Mills
12/3/2011 15:16:36

Shayla,
I am so proud of you. You are definitely "fighting like a girl". Your faith will carry you through this journey. We continue to pray as you fight your fight. You are a beautiful young woman--inside and out.
Thinking about you and your family and praying for all of you.
Sharon

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Buffy
12/3/2011 18:26:41

Look out Demi...your one sexy lady...and look like you could kick some butt!! Shay..your amazing..what else can be said..lots of love

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Jyl
12/3/2011 18:36:39

I WILL copy your last blog and read it EVERYDAY!! Your genuine love of God, life, family, friends....everything that SHOULD be our priorites..are yours! But I know that ALL of these "traits" have been there throughout your life--and now, through adversity, you can teach us and show us what its really all about! Love you Shayla! Prayers for you and your dear family! With the presence of God and your amazing "groupies" (I bet Demi has "em) you will beat this! You are truly a beautiful, remarkable woman of God!

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Becky Riethmayer
12/3/2011 19:58:52

Shayla, I've not been around you since you were a wee little girl, but I am a dear friend of your Aunt, Lynn, and your uncle, Mike. Your mom and dad are special friends as well. You are in my prayers. Your deep faith is an inspiration to everyone who reads your blog, and the beauty in your soul shines so brightly. May God bless you with the strength you will need for each day. Know that I am praying for you.
You are so lovely--inside and out!

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Sharon White
12/3/2011 21:04:01

Shayla,
I also know your family from their Friona days. I, too, have been touched by your lovely, strong words. I am also a breast cancer survivor (nearly ten years). I feel so humble reading your blog because I didn't even have to have chemo, and my kids were raised. Your writing proves the following: Cancer CANNOT cripple love, shatter hope, errode faith, destroy peace, kill friendship, suppress memories, silence courage, invade the soul, steal eternal life, or conquer the spirit. (I saved those words from something I read). Be assured you are in our prayers also.

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Cheryl
12/3/2011 21:41:30

Your courage is inspiring. You are amazing--that is actually an understatement. The word just doesn't cover it. With God's help, I know you can weather the storm--actually, you are! Love you.

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Linda H
12/3/2011 22:49:22

You look so beautiful Shay. Thank you for being so brave and thoughtful of all of your friends. Letting us see your battle and the courage shine through your words and beautiful smile. God gave us all an ANGEL to see, and His works, through you. God Bless you and your wonderful family. My love to you all.

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Beth Lopez
12/3/2011 22:52:11

Shay,
You are amazing...just seeing the fight in you to fix your eyes on Jesus. Because of that, the enemy or cancer have no hold on you. I know He is showing Himself to you in a way you would have not seen without going through this. I am inspired to see you walk through this crazy trial with such courage. You are a fighter & I'm so thankful you are in my life! Love you Shay...and you definitely look better than demi...seriously!!

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Laurel
12/3/2011 23:31:31

My brave, brave friend,
As always I am speechless- i am in awe of you-- more so, I am in awe of HIM shining thru you. What an example you are! THIS is your testimony & you are living it, preaching it, & shouting It from the rooftops! I know our Father is so proud. As I skimmed other's comments, I think the consensus is very clear: you are BEAUTIFUL (w/ or w/ out hair), you are courageous beyond words, & ur faith & love for our savior is more & more evident w/ each word you speak. Love you so much.

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Tiffany Blount
12/4/2011 00:08:05

Wow!!! You are absolutly amazing!!! I am in awe every time I read your blogs!!! You are able to share the lords word and plans so well! Other than being a gorgeous lady(who totally beats Demi) ;) you are truely an inspiration!!! Lots of prayers sent your way all the time!! God bless you, as you continue to bless each of us with your words and journey!!!

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Melanie Hayes
12/4/2011 00:24:19

I know that our Heavenly Father is so proud of you as you use this journey to grow and encourage others! Your writing is amazing....I never knew you were such a great writer and had such a gift to put your thoughts into words.....I just thought you did gross PT things!! Also, your new hairdo really shows off your beautiful features. I hope you have a really good week! Love you! Melanie Hayes

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Cyndia Copeland
12/4/2011 09:45:30

Shay...You are definitely beautiful outside...but also inside. What a walking testimony you are to others. You have definitely blessed my heart with your faith in our God. I had gotten behind reading your blog and have caught up last night and this morning. What a way to start this Lord's Day...with your precious Road of Faith. You and your precious family will continue to be in my prayers. I have another friend going through breast cancer too. God bless you and your precious family. Lots of Christian Love♥

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Brook
12/4/2011 09:47:21

You are for sure surpassing Demi! You honestly look beautiful! That's so sweet about Brenly too, she's a doll. Keeping you and your family in my prayers, thanks for sharing the inspiring words! Love you, Brook

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Penni Hudson
12/4/2011 16:24:00

Shayla,
Thank you for courageously sharing your journey through this trial. I have been sittiing the last hour reading your blog to get the "whole story". Mom just gave me the website recently. As I have read, I too have been so blessed by your unwavering, steadfast trust and faith in your Heavenly Father who knows you intimately and has your best interest in mind! Know you have been in our prayers and our church family's. I know your Father is so pleased with the reflection of His Son that is shining brightly through you as you testify of His goodness even in the midst of this great suffering! So glad this week has been better....your beauty is needs no hair!! Prayers continue daily for you and yours....love you, Penni

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Dawn
12/4/2011 20:58:13

Shay,
You look beautiful!!! You are right, Demi has nothing on you! ;) I am so happy that the second round of chemo went better for you. You are such a strong and amazing person! Love you!

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Chris Back
12/4/2011 21:47:36

You are so brave, precious and beautiful inside and out even with out hair. You have a great smile and what a LADY ... You are my HERO and love you and your family. May God Bless.

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Margaret Hodge
12/5/2011 19:47:06

Shayla, you are amazing and absolutely gorgeous! Your smile is beautifully radiant and reflects the gorgeous person you are on the inside as well as the outside!!!

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Rob and Jane
12/6/2011 16:27:05

Shayla, We are amazed at your spiritual gifts of the spirit. Sharing your story with all of us is inspiring us to seek that closer relationship with God that we all desire, but put aside alot of times. Thank you for your bravery in sharing the up times and bad. I want to say that you are awesome, and that when I worked with your Mom, I saw the love, prayers and devotion that she and James poured over their children. I hope this inspires other young parents to know that a Godly home is the highest of all callings and achievements. Even through the hard times...God will fulfill His promises. You are proof. We will be reading and praying, and waiting to hear about all the people He is able to touch through you. It is something very special...as are you!!! And you and your head are gorgeous...as always.

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Emily
12/8/2011 16:13:51

Shayla, what a beautiful woman God has created you to be! Love reading your story -- thanks for sharing, and thanks for your incredible example of being thankful in all circumstances. God bless you.

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Gene & Delorise
12/11/2011 15:32:36

Shayla, You are the same beautiful Shayla. Chris and Brenley are just as blessed to have you as you are to have them. We love you.

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12/11/2011 19:09:17

You are absolutely gorgeous in looks and soul. What a powerhouse. Love ya lady,
Andee

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Mary Ringer
12/13/2011 14:46:04

Ash, Anndi and I have all read your blog and prayed for you constantly. You are still as beautiful, both inside and out as when you lived next door to us! Keep up the courage. " God will not take you anywhere where His arms will not carry you" was one thought that kept me going when I was undergoing Chemo!

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7/17/2012 08:37:41

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