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So I don't normally like posting pictures of myself, but some of you probably haven't seen me since I started growing hair (and dark brown at that thank goodness).  I finally decided that I was tired of wearing a wig on Sundays and to special events, and I was also tired of wearing a hat all the other times.  I am proud to say that I can now use hair products again on my head.  I throw some gel in it with some hairspray on top of that.  I turn my head upside down and blow dry it for about a minute.  Then, WABAM I'm like an instant chia pet.  My hair stands up off my head, and I love it.  It is so easy getting ready that I'm not sure why I ever want hair longer than this.  Just kidding.  I miss my long, dark hair for sure, but this is kinda fun getting to try different hairstyles that I probably never would have tried.

Well, there isn't much to report lately thank goodness.  The doctor's appointments are getting further apart, and I haven't been getting lymphedema treatments anymore.  Tammy, the OT who saw me for lymphedema for my left arm, and I decided that since radiation was over and my arm seems to be a little better we would hold off awhile.  I still have to wrap my hand everyday to keep the swelling down, but I get to take those off in the evening and sleep without anything on.  It's a nice break from it, but again things could be much worse.  I'm just so thankful to God that the lymphedema did not get worse during radiation.  There was a big chance that it could have, but again God is good and answered those prayers.  So the next big step in my fight now is my upcoming surgery.  On July 17th, I will be having my breast expanders taken out and my implants put in.  Dr. Proffer will be performing this, and he will also take out my chemo port from my chest.  Then in the same surgery, Dr. Appel (my gynecologist) will do my complete hysterectomy.  She thinks she can do this laparoscopically and not open me up.  Of course, if she sees something that concerns her she might, but she doesn't expect this.  The whole surgery is suppose to take around 3 hours.  I will be in hospital for one night at least.  I ask for prayers for the doctors and nurses that will be tending to me and for a smooth recovery after the surgery.  Please pray too that everything they work on will look as it should without any surprises.  I am confident that I am cancer free at this point and that God is taking care of me physically.  This surgery is going to be tough for me emotionally because this isn't the way I saw my life going.  I really wanted another baby of my own, and being told that I really need to take out my ovaries and female parts is hard for me.  I know it is what is best for my health and to reduce the risk of cancer, but that doesn't make the decision any easier.  I'm already dreading this surgery and will probably have some dark emotional days after it too.  Times like these are when I realize that prayer may be the only thing that gets me through it.  God has blessed us with one amazing daughter in 
Brenley, and I thank him so much for her.  I ask him to just get me over this last hurdle, so I can feel like I can move on with my life.  I'll be honest when I say that I will be glad to not focus on cancer for awhile.

I am happy to say that Chris and I have now finalized our plans to take Brenley to Disneyland in September.  I think I may be as excited or more as she is to go.  We got our plane tickets, hotel, Disney tickets, and our rental car.  We will spend a 3 days at the park and then get up the next day to leave for San Diego to spend another 3 days enjoying the zoo and the beach.  Bren has never really seen the beach in person, so I will be glad to take her.  None of us have ever been to California either, so I'm glad to finally get out there.  You know I thought I probably don't have enough paid time off from work or don't need to probably spend the money.  Then, I thought you know life is short and you never know if you have tomorrow, so I am going to make the most of my time with my hubby and kiddo.  We had so much fun taking our first family vacation to SeaWorld in Sept. 2010 and seeing the excitement of all of it through Bren's eyes.  This is why I can't wait to take her to Disneyland to see all the princesses that she loves.  It will be such great memories for all of us.  She is about to turn 4 in two weeks, so this is a great time to take her I feel.  I think Chris and I need the break too for a little relaxation and family time away from all the stress we have been through.

You know I feel that my Chrisitan walk is kinda like my workouts.  I find myself tired and too busy sometimes to get that workout in, and I pay for it when I skip out.  I don't feel as well and my joints hurt.  Lately, I have been working out hard at the gym and doing insanity workouts, and honestly I have dropped about 5 pounds and feel so much better about myself.  This is the same with my Chrisitan walk.  I was so motivated to get to know God on a much higher level and I still want that, but I find myself making excuses some days for not reading my Bible and praying.  I am much better than I used to be at this, and at least I find myself feeling really guilty when I put it on the backburner.  I have decided that maybe I need to do away with some things that I normally find important to me if it takes away from God.  These could be things like getting on facebook, pinterest, or watching television.  Sometimes this is hard to do because we want to do these fun things, but they can take up a lot of our time.  For now, I will try to limit my time of these things to open up more time with God.  I know I will feel ultimately better and refreshed for doing this.  I need God everyday and I know he thinks about me and each of you daily too.  He desires our attention and focus on him and loves it when we chose him.  I chose God because I know where I want to spend my eternity.  I encourage you this week and in the weeks to come to find something that you know distracts you from your walk with God and get rid of it or limit it.  Thank you for praying for me, my family, and my upcoming surgery.  I praise God for each of you and the influence you are in my life.  Please feel free to write a quick note or comment on my blog because reading these are always a big encouragement to me.  God bless and keep striving to know God more.  Love y'all.  Shay

Lisa
7/1/2012 23:33:40

Love you!!! You look AMAZING!!!

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Katy
7/2/2012 00:02:09

Shayla you are almost done with this yucky journey in your life! Look how far you have come in a year! Your strength and courage is amazing! I am so happy you, Chris, and Bren have something fun to look forward to in a few months. You guys deserve it for sure! I will be praying for you in the upcoming weeks for a fast recovery! Love you Shay!!

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Cheryl Weatherly
7/2/2012 00:22:33

Have been thinking so much of your upcoming surgery. So many times our stories don't turn out the way we had them written, but just remember God sees around the corner so he has your future in his sights. Your strength coupled with your faith has carried you this far, and it will see you through the next steps. You and your family are always in my prayers. Love you.

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Susan Kendall
7/2/2012 02:34:35

Shayla-- you are so precious to me and so many. I pray that God fills your heart with His peace that passes all understanding in light of the upcoming surgery. I pray for strength and love as you are walking along other brave cancer fighters. I know God speaks through you to encourage. I appreciate your honesty in the battle for time with God and worldly distraction. SO easy to be distracted. Praying God will close the door on any things getting in your way to allow more time with Him. Keep letting Him fill your cup 1st so you can overflow His love to anyone He places in your path. Grateful for you, Suz

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Perri Lee
7/2/2012 07:59:22

Shayla, you are such an inspiration to me. I have loved reading your blog about your journey, not of your choosing. However, you have grown in your love of God, and isn't that what we all want. You are beautiful, inside and out. God bless you and your family. Love you!

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Becky Weatherly
7/2/2012 09:03:54

Shayla- how beautiful you are with your short hair. I loved the pictures from the wedding and thought "only Shayla could look so beautiful!".
We will be praying for you for this upcoming surgery. Everything is going to go smoothly!
Thank you for your example to all of us- you are amazing. God has carried you through so far and He will continue to carry you through this next surgery. We love you!

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phila weatherly
7/2/2012 10:57:14

Thankful that your progress is moving on.....Hair can be fun! Praying for you and your family...love ya

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linda
7/3/2012 18:14:06

Sweet One, God will always treasure your time with him. He rejoices with each prayer and thought you have for him. He will always watch over you and give you the strength you desire to continue on your journey. I am blessed also by the strength of you and him daily. Always know you are a dear lady to us all. Love the doo. You a so beautiful. My love and prayers continue daily.

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Holly Campbell
7/4/2012 02:01:55

Shayla, I just read your blog and you are so right. We don't get to write our story, only God does that. You are beautiful and I just want to say that I lift you up in prayer each time I see your name or think of you. For me, FB has been a God thing and when I post anything about my kids I have tons of encouraging words. I hope that's what helps you also! I promise to be praying for your upcoming surgery. God Bless, Holly

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Curtis Shelburne
7/4/2012 15:47:43

By far the cutest Chia pet I ever saw--and I'm so proud you're my daughter-in-law! Way to go, girl!

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Susan
7/10/2012 23:56:37

Shay, as you get ready for surgery, I am praying for your heart, the skill of the doctors and your entire medical team, and for a smooth healing process. I pray for good rest and minimal pain after surgery and for God to fill your heart with peace and DEEP comfort. You are such a blessing. I'm thankful to God for the blessing of knowing you.

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Louise
7/16/2012 23:13:09

Shay, You are an awesome example of positive attitude and reliance on our Lord! Bless you in your witness and in this journey. I am so very proud of who you are and the fight you have won!

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Donna Locker
7/18/2012 09:25:50

Love the hair, glad it is coming back in "brunette" (cause that is what you wanted). Your journey has been one of courage and heartbreak, yet we all rejoice that now it is a hopeful, positive journey filled with love for family and God. I am so excited for you all that you get to go to Disney Land and Bren will see her princesses.....although, she is a beautiful little princess herself. San Diego is a beautiful place and ya'll will be so thankful you went and made some more "memories" with each other and that little princess. Curtis sent out an e-mail letting us all know that your surgery went well, will be praying that there are no "surprises" in the path reports. Give Chris a big hug from us all, God certainly blessed you with a very special young man to spend your earthly life with. (know you already knew that) Take very good care of yourself and thanks for the blog. Prayers for healing and peace.

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