Well, I can't really complain right now because I'm feeling really good.  I'm still struggling with my energy levels and being tired a lot but what's new?  I have still been having lymphedema problems in my left hand and forearm that have been lingering for about 3 weeks now.  We have tried numerous compression sleeves and gloves, but to my dismay these have all failed.  It is quite frustrating to be quite honest.  I just want it to go away all together, but I guess this is going to be an issue that I will just have to deal with for the rest of my life.  I'm still getting treatment from one of our occupational therapists named Tammy, and she has helped me a lot.  She specializes in lymphedema and does a great job.  You know right as I started feeling sad and pouting about my arm the other day,  I heard a great story on Air One.  There was a man born without any limbs that decided to go skydiving.  They were talking about how incredible this man is and how he makes the best of his situation.  This is all I needed at that moment to not only put me in my place but to again make me realize that my ailments could always be worse.  There are some terribly sad medical stories out there that make me realize that my medical problems seem like nothing compared to those.  I should be thankful always.  God is good in all situations.

I have now completed 5 radiation treatments and have 25 to go.  I will finish in 5 weeks from today.  These first 5 treatments have gone by really quickly and don't seem to have any effects on me so far.  I'm so thankful for this.  Radiation seems like nothing compared to chemo.  I can handle this stuff.  I had a follow-up with Dr. Stafford, the radiologist, today after my treatment.  He just basically checked to see how I was doing so far, and there wasn't anything exciting to report.  We just joked around and laughed a little and then I headed back to work.  I will meet with him once a week so he can check on me.  The staff at Harrington has been great throughout all my time there, and they make me feel good each time I go.  Again, this has been a blessing.  I thank God for them.

To update you on my hair growth, I look like a little spring chick with my fuzzy head.  It is really soft to touch and seems to be growing each day.  Some of it is light colored and soft while the rest of it seems more like my old hair that was brown and thick.  I heard that a lot of times it come back initially like baby hair and is curly.  We will just have to wait and see.  I'm just ready to have any hair at this point in time.  To my dismay, my eyelashes and eyebrows are still falling out here and there.  I don't have many of these left.  I thought I had done well with keeping these up until the end of chemo, but then God said "think again" and they started coming loose.  This was a cruel joke, but I can laugh about it.  I never thought I would have to paint my eyebrows on my head.  Usually, I'm plucking them to make them not as bushy and now I would die to have those back.  I will never complain about thick eyebrows again Lord!  Also, I have decided that I will continue to place mascara on my eye lashes regardless of the fact that there is only one lash left on the bottom of each eye.  Hey, I don't want that lash to feel left out!  LOL!  I always say that cancer is the gift that keeps giving, and frankly I'm tired of receiving those gifts.  I'm not compaining.  I'm just saying (one of my new mottos).  You just have to laugh about these things because if not you might get down on yourself now and then.  This just a phase and my hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows will grow back soon enough.  No biggie.

Something amazing happened yesterday.  It would have been my Grandmother Lois' 99th birthday.  She passed in 2001 at the age of 88.  This was my dad's mother, and I still miss her today.  She was an amazing women of faith and loved her family dearly.  I was up early on Sunday morning before Bren and Chris woke up.  I went in the living room to do my daily devotional.  I have been reading in the New Testament and had just started 2 Timothy 1.  I was reading the chapter and got to verse 5 which says, "I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also".  How awesome was this.  It totally put a smile on my face.  I had already been thinking about my grandmother from the time I woke up and then by God's divine intervention I read that verse on her birthday. 

Thank you God for that sweet gift yesterday and for my wonderful grandmother that I know is up there in heaven with you celebrating eternal birthdays.  Thank you for the great faith you gave her and for the great Christian example and influence she was to each of us.  We thank you for her many years with us and look forward to seeing her and our other family members that have gone on before us (Uncle Gene, Aunt CD, and many more).  I am so blessed to have been raised in the family that I have.  You have provided financially for all of us through the years and taken care of all of our needs.  You have given me Godly greatgrandparents, grandparents, and parents.  I not only want to honor them by living for you like they did, but I want to honor you God for such a wonderful blessing in my life.  I praise you for feeling good and for radiation going so smoothly.  Thank you for continuing to work in my life in so many ways even though I don't deserve it sometimes.  You are always faithful and true.  Thank you for loving me so much as your child and for all the little things you do daily for me.  You are an awesome God and I love you!  Amen.

Don't forget Mother's Day is this weekend.  If you have been blessed with a wonderful mother like I have let her know because tomorrow is never promised to us.  Live each day if it were your last without any regrets.  Love each of y'all and thanks for the continued support.  Shay
Cheryl Weatherly
5/7/2012 19:11:04

As soon as I wipe my tears, I will tell you how sweet your story about Lois is. Like you, I was thinking about her on her birthday, also. I have thought so much about all the saints you have standing on your side and right in front is Grandmommie Lois. I know there are no tears in heaven, but I think God has probably had to make an exception for her while she sees you go through your trials. She loved her family very much, and I know she is your biggest cheerleader. I'll bet she makes sure everyone knows you are her granddaughter because you exemplify everything she believed. Love you.

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Katy
5/7/2012 19:17:05

Gosh Shayla, I go from belly giggling when you talked about your one eyelash to bawling like a baby reading about Grandmommie and how amazingly strong you are!! You exemplify a true Christian!! 5 more weeks sweetie!!! I love you!!!

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Susan
5/7/2012 19:46:05

Shay--what a precious reminder that it could always be worse. I still think about your post that said, "what if you wake up tomorrow and only have what you thanked Him for yesterday?" (paraphrase!) That sticks in my mind often. There is a LOT OF POWER IN PRAISE AND GRATITUDE. I think you have been a brave warrior IN HIS POWER throughout your cancer journey. AND I would LOVE for this not to have been your path. BUT I am thankful for the MANY MANY lives you have touched and encouraged, despite the trials and frustrations you were facing at any given moment. I admire your faith and your gumption my friend!

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Lisa
5/7/2012 20:20:14

As you know, I am very rarely without words. Thank you seems inadequate at this point. You are truly my hero. I was thinking about Grandmommy Lois too. Doesn't seem like she has been gone that long. I agree with Mom..Grandmommy is very proud of you and your faith. Her Christian legacy lives and shines on through you. I am truly honored to call you family! I love you!

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Annette
5/8/2012 04:18:03

Such a sweet tribute to Grandmother Lois....it's so good to know that she is looking over us! You are so incredible, Shayla! I love reading your inspiring words. Good Luck the next 5 weeks...you are in my prayers always! Love you!

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Juana
5/8/2012 05:53:56

Thank you Shay for your inspiring words this morning. I love you and thankful you are the mother of my grand child. She has a great heritage of strong Christian women, especially her mother. Can't wait to see your fuzzy head. Miss you.

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Becky
5/8/2012 19:34:35

Shayla- I guess we all had your Grandmommie on our mind yesterday. Precious tribute to a great lady. She would have been so proud of you! So grateful that you are feeling better! Your faithfulness to God is such an example to all of us! Love you.

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TK
5/9/2012 11:15:16

Welllllll, we certainly are all linked by heart strings!!!! We appear to have all been at the same heart place this weekend!!! I pulled Grandmommie's blue bedroom furniture from storage this weekend and began the process of redoing it all! I was overwhelmed with memories as I focused on each little nook and cranny. The stool had been recovered by sweet Maria and when I removed the top layer of material there were two more layers. It all took me back to a very special time and to a very special woman. You, Shayla, are made of the same stuff as Grandmommie! You have her same sweet spirit, her Christian depth, and her deep love for family that knows NO bounds. You, too, will be a Grandmommie for some precious kiddos to adore, someday!!!!! For now, we all stand in awe of you, your strength, your faith, your unselfish love for others and your Christian walk. Right now, in this very moment of time, more than ever, YOU are sooooooo Grandmommie's granddaughter!!!!!!!! She loved you dearly!!!!!

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Nancy Weatherley
5/9/2012 13:44:15

Shayla,

I usually check your blog on Wed. afternoon so I can share your information with our prayer group which meets on Wed. night. Well, I am like the others who have posted. I smiled, giggled, rejoiced, and then teared up. You are a blessing, girl, and God is using you in this undesired experience (from our point of view) to show His magnificent love and grace to all of us. Yes, Aunt Lois, your grandmommy, was a saint in my estimation. We have a great Weatherley family, and I am proud to say that since I have been in it for nearly 47 years. Miles separate us, but just know that you are loved by so many people, and those "many people" pray for you, Chris, and Bren. It is exciting to watch and see where God is going to take you once you have passed through this experience. Hugs and lots of love!

Nancy and Mike Weatherley

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