Friday, May 28, 2010

Some Things Don't go as Planned...

Hi, Everyone -

Well, as we all know, some things don't go as planned.  I received news that I'm no longer in the clinical trial.  My white blood cell count is too low to continue.  And I have peace with that.  I gave it the ol' college try to do my part to further science, but it wasn't to be.  I did (or did I?) receive the study drug along with my chemo, so I'm just missing out on the last half.  So now I'll go in for monthly CA125 blood draws and pelvic exams.  Think monthly pap smears ladies, but a tad worse.  I know, I know -- you're all so jealous of me right now, aren't you?!

I had my cat scan this week and all is good.  The port in my arm served to accept the needle well and for some weird reason, I really enjoy it over at Cedars.  Two interesting notes about my day:

First, as I drove into the parking lot, I saw a man who had one arm.  As I was walking into the building, I saw him getting into his car.  Guess what his license plate read?  NOARM.  I found that interesting.  Had I had time before my appointment to chat, I would have asked him about that.  People are interesting, aren't they?

Secondly, I sat next to a woman who was also having a cat scan.  Unfortunately, I did have time to chat with her.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago.  She has four grown daughters.  Get this -- she's never told anyone in her family or any of her friends that she's had cancer.  

I asked her, "What if one of your daughters had cancer?  How would you feel if she didn't allow you to help her through it?"

"I didn't want to burden any of them with the news," was her reply.

"But everyone who loves you could have helped you through it, prayed with you, been there for you," I said.

"I'll tell them about it when I hit my 10 year cancer-free anniversary," she answered.

Three more years until she shares this news with them.  Mom, if you're reading this, never keep something like this from me!

So how very sad is that.  Right before they called my name, she whispered, "This never ends, you know.  I'm sure they told you that."  Again, I was left speechless.  Why I talk to patients there, I still don't know!  It isn't until I get home, that I replay my conversations in my mind and come up with something I should have said.

Gee, this would have been nice:  "Well, I know you think you're strong enough to go through this alone, but I hope you know God's there to carry you through it so you're really not alone.  Here, I have something for you."  I hand her a Hope rock.  I think I need to start carrying those babies with me more often!

Jesus promises He'll never leave us.  We just need to allow Him to keep His promise.

So the ovarian cancer is now in my past.  What an amazing sentence to type.  I celebrated by going to Costco and buying blueberries.  The old me would have stopped at 31 Flavors.  Nope, beautiful, sweet blueberries are my reward now.   And by the way, while there, I bought a dozen other items.  The cashier forgot to charge me for the organic milk in the bottom of my cart (please tell me you're drinking organic milk -- so much better for you!) so now I had to pay for it separately.  Having two separate receipts, I walk to the exit and a big smile comes over my face.  I think to myself, "I'm only going to give Exit Lady the first receipt and see if she notices that the milk's not on it."  You know how they look over your receipt and I'm pretty sure we all think it's a big waste of our time?  Well, someone was on her toes.  Within seconds, Exit Lady noticed the milk wasn't on my receipt.  I would have bet a 100 bucks they just drag that highlighter down the receipt and send you on your merry way.  Apparently, those Costco employees really do know what they're doing!  See how I'm amused now by the smallest things?

Thanks to all who took the time to read my first blog and sent encouraging emails my way.  My plan is to update it every two weeks or so, unless I just have to share something with you.  Know that it's such a gift to share all of this with you.

All my love to all of you,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Welcome to Ruthie's Gift.  
Nope, it's not a gift shop -- although I've always wanted one.  
But rather a continuation of my updates throughout this journey called cancer.

Ruthie's Gift was actually my second choice for the name of this blog.  I originally wanted Ruthie's Hope - as it is my hope that this journey that I've shared with all of you has or will bring your walk with God a little closer.  But that name wasn't available.  

So I thought of Ruthie's Gift.  As you know, I've always seen my cancer as a gift.  I know it sounds crazy, but so very true.  This gift, entered as an intruder into my body, but profoundly touched my soul.  It didn't come wrapped in a box with a pretty bow.  Rather, it came in the form of fear that made me reach out to God like I've never done before.  The real gift is the peace and strength He's provided me on this journey.  I hope the gift to you is knowing He will do the same for you on yours.

So as much as I loved sending you my updates, I hated that they were just black words on a white screen.  Not cute!  I had to change that.  So by putting these updates in the form of a blog, I could satisfy my need to photograph beautiful things and share them with you.  Again, a gift.

I will post all of my original updates on another blog for anyone who's new to this one.  You veterans don't need to read them again.     

So if you enjoy reading these updates, please become a follower and leave a comment.  You can do so by clicking on the "follow" and "post a comment" tabs.  Each time I update my blog, I'll notify you by email (just like old times).  Then all you have to do is go to

I pray God uses this blog to draw you closer to Him.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  -- James 4:8

It's absolutely true.  Enjoy.