All in!

All in!

That’s the phrase Dabo coined when he began his coaching career at Clemson.  
It’s the words on the chips that players toss in a bucket before game time.  
We see it on t-shirts, hats, and used often by Tiger fans. 
It’s a way of life, lived out by the coaches and players.

And I’ve been “all in” on this cancer journey.  

So I’ve seen pictures and heard of tons of my friends attending the Ladies’ Clinic each year and honestly it’s never been a good time for us to go.  Beach trips, VBS, and other commitments have been that weekend and last year was just a “no go” for sure as I had just been diagnosed.  So this year when I learned the date and time of the ticket sales, I set my reminder on my calendar and was “Johnny on the spot”.  I easily scored my mom and I both one, within minutes of them going on sale.  You see I was recuperating from my double mastectomy at the time and was truly tied down to the bed so I had a perfect opportunity to buy these bad boys.  

And today was the day we’d been looking forward to for months.  Starting our trip to Tigertown, we were greeted with the most beautiful sunrise and rainbow, together.  They had called for rain all day and the bottom fell out when we pulled in our parking spot, but our trip there was truly like watching a painting from God.  After arriving with 3,000 other ladies, the shopping began as we walked around the concourse to see a sea of orange, as there was tons of clothing, cute jewelry, and lots of other fun Clemson goodies.  I was beginning to get a little claustrophobic when a lady tapped on my shoulder and asked if she could talk to me.  She looked really familiar but I didn’t know her.  I learned later that she was Jeff Scott’s wife, an offensive coach.  I followed her, and that’s when I was asked to eat lunch with some of the players and do a little dancing competition.  My first response was “sure, but why did you pick me?”  She kindly answered with “you looked ALL IN and like you could be fun”.  So my next worry was what would my mom do while I did that.  My sweet momma said for me to go and she’d be fine and she was.  She met sweet friends in the stands and ate lunch and watched her crazy daughter dance like a fool. 

When I met my dance partner, Austin Bryant, defensive end and #7, for my Tiger fans, he was so nice.  He greeted me with a huge hug and that’s when I asked him what song he had chosen to dance to. 

 Get ready for the huge God wink!

  If you remember back in October when I was the chosen to be the Spirit or the Tiger honoree for the Georgia Tech game,  it poured rain like never before.  My friends and family who came literally poured water from their rain boots and were soaked.  So before he told me the song he had selected, he asked me if I came to the Georgia Tech game last year.  I was somewhat speechless but told him that I did and he proceeded to laugh about how crazy the rain was that night.  He laughed as he shared the story of him and Christian Wilkins “swag surfing”’on the field as they were standing and playing in inches of standing water.  I teared up, remembering the honor of that night, and told him that yes, that game was super special to me, and why.  

I mean...really!!!  That is just proof that God is so ultimately present in every element of my life?! 

  We practiced and practiced and then did our thing on the court with 5 other groups.  The judges gave us a perfect 10 and we won the competition.  I’m no dancer, I don’t have much rhythm, but I let it all go for that minute.  I got ALL IN, and enjoyed every second of that fun time.
  So to be selected today, and then him sharing his story of the game, and the song choice...this moment was just the cherry on top.  

The check reveal was next with the collected amount from the event, which was the most money raised in the ten years that it has taken place. 


To see those checks and know that so many will benefit from  this event and may even save their life, made me so proud.  
A new mammography bus will be put on the road as well to allow women to get mammograms that may not have the means otherwise.  

And as all of the survivors gathered on the court, wearing survivor medals, and holding each other up, Dabo poured his heart out to us, letting us know how proud he was and how much the event to raise awareness for breast cancer meant to him and his family.  Both him and Kathleen are so real, and I feel honored to have gotten to know them on this journey.  

Kathleen was back stage with the Pumps and Pearls event and was ever so kind when I was first fighting this battle.  

And seeing so many friends and fellow survivors just truly made the day that much sweeter.  

Spending time with my mom, my #1 fan, my best friend, and amazing caregiver was probably the best though.  I looked up from the floor during the survivor honor moment to see her crying like a baby.  Never, never would you want your child to go through something like cancer.  She’s seen God in every moment of this road too, and I’m so happy that she’s walked with me, loving me through it.  And she may be a Winthrop grad,  but her love for the Tigers is fierce, like my love for her. 

So to wrap it all up... today was amazing,  wonderful and exhilarating, all in one.
  I tried to purposefully soak it ALL IN.  

I felt God’s presence in that colesium. 

 I felt Him nudging me to be brave and dance like crazy, like no one was really watching, like it was my dying day.

  I felt Him when I stood with more than 200 survivors, looking into their eyes and feeling their pain.  

And I felt His presence walking out and seeing the beautiful sunshine that came after a ton of rain, as it was a “sunshiny” day in Littlejohn.  

He was there.  
He’s been with me each step.  
He’s ALL IN, in my life.  
And I love knowing that.  

“You are precious and honored in my sight...” 
Isaiah 43:4


A little change...

 Today began with my normal blood work check-up to see the doctor.  This was a scheduled visit as I see him every 3 weeks after a round of the oral chemo I’m on.  I was excited to begin my fourth round and be halfway done with this part of my treatment plan when BAM!  Labs came back and due to the increase of my bilirubin count, he’s stopped the oral chemo that I’m on for now. My bulirubin count has been going up ever since I started this medicine but it’s higher now than he’d like to see. I’ll have an ultrasound on my liver next Wednesday to check on what is going on and to see what is causing this number to increase.  Last week was my off week of meds so it’s kind of odd that it’s gone up.  He truly thinks that all of the chemo I’ve been on is just causing these numbers to elevate, but wants to rule anything else out by taking a closer look.  As I was talking with him today, the tears came pretty quickly as a little fear crept in.  He assured me that he doesn’t think this has to do with the cancer, but that thought still creeps in and causes me to wonder. I’m ever so thankful for a cautious doctor who stays on top of every little detail and truly cares about little ol’ me.  

 The quote my mom shared with me this morning really helped ease my mind as you can’t help but wonder “why” sometimes, but trusting and truly knowing Him completely, allows me to see the big picture.  My journey is His plan.  And each little trouble that comes along is an opportunity to lean on Him even more. 

And as I kept reading over Ruth Graham’s quote,  I got a text from a dear friend, who is fighting her own battle, while waiting to see the doctor.  And what did it say??  It was about fear, with some of the lyrics from one of my favorite songs, “Tremble”.
  He does silence fear.  

And then she sent this picture of some text from one of my favorite devotion books that I passed on to her, minutes  before my doctor came in.   

“Only Jesus can save and fill and give what my soul desires.  Please remind me to draw close to You and rely on the promise that You will draw close to me when I do.”  Whew!  Amen.  

Talk about the Holy Spirit being present and some perfect timing.  

The song by Hannah Kerr, “Warrior”, came to my mind when leaving feeling a little down and unsettled.  
Faith is my shield.  And His Love is the armor.  

Thank you to my prayer warriors, who are constantly lifting my name up to Him.  
Those prayers are felt and are so appreciated. 
Please pray specifically for me on July 25..   
I’ll keep you posted!

  Love you all!  

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34



Real Men Wear Pink

When Jeremy was nominated to be one of the men for the Real Men Wear Pink campaign, I couldn’t have been prouder.   Since I was  diagnosed with breast cancer last summer, he’s been by my side every step of the way.  Through doctor appointments, chemo, surgery, and radiation, we truly believe our faith in God has given us both the strength to fight this disease, hand in hand.  Jeremy is super excited about being a part of the American Cancer Society’s campaign this year, helping to raise money for those battling breast cancer.  







I’ll never forget the call from the nurse that Dr. Keith wanted to meet with me.  And J.

I just knew then the news wasn’t good.  I was dropping Jett off to stay with my parents when Doctor Keith called me before we met and said those words. 

“It’s cancer, come as soon as you can”. 

I crumbled...into the arms of my parents. 

I cried the whole way to the doctor, collapsed into Jeremy’s arms in the parking lot and then we walked in the exam room, sat and waited to see her.  She was very calm as she told us the details.  

Stage 2, infiltrating ductal carcinoma.  

That moment my world seemed to spin, and everything felt like it was falling on top of me. We just cried and cried and then my doctor hugged me and told me it would be one heck of a year but I would be ok.  She had just done exactly what I was getting ready to go through. 

And it was at that moment, I knew I had to fight for my life.  And fight hard. 

Next up...

*4 extremely roughy chemo treatments of the red devil 

*12 chemos that wreaked havoc on my finger nails 

*Bilateral mastectomy

*33 rounds of radiation

*6 months of oral chemo

*Hysterectomy in December 

*And then years of Arimidex.  

And a lifetime of wonder.

Wondering if it’ll come back, and how much longer He will keep me here.  Yes I wonder these things.  I can’t help it.  I do know that He has my life in His hands, but the wonder just doesn’t leave you.  

Just this week, I had a panic attack and knew that I didn’t feel like myself.  Nurses and medicine do amazing things.  I’m totally not ashamed to ask for help when I need it for my family’s sake and mine.  Every single day since Father’s Day, the day I found my tumor, I’ve relived each day of the past year.  The day I first met with my doctor, meeting my surgeon for the first time, the mammogram, the MRI, the biopsy, the PET scan,  meeting with my oncologist for my plan, and today, my “cancerversary”.  The anniversary of the day I was pricked with that mean old cactus.  

It’s not a day of celebration like we do for a real anniversary.  

No flowers, no dinner out, no cards.  

But it is surely a day that I want to give thanks to our precious Savior within this storm.  

A day that I can be thankful for another year of life.  

I give thanks to Him for literally cradling me in his arms every step of the way. 

 I give thanks for Him giving the knowledge to my team of doctors to rid the cancer from my body.  

 I give thanks to Him for giving me my husband who never left my side, parents and in-laws who helped so much with Jett.

And I give thanks to our tribe who bathed us with prayer, cards, texts and visits during one of the hardest battles anyone would ever want to face.  

His love and mercy has been so evident each and every step of the way.  

Just this week, I read in John 5 about the man who went to the healing pool to be healed. Jesus walked by, stopped, and miraculously healed him.  The healing pool did not.  He showed loved and mercy to him that the pool could not.  And then Jesus was tortured and ridiculed for healing him on the Sabbath and for calling to His Father during this time.  The Sabbath day was a day of rest and the Jews believed that no one was equal with God.  Jesus explained that God, His Father, was always working....even on Sundays, the Sabbath day, and that he was just doing what His Father does.  

So let us never lose sight of our Father.  

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sundays.  

His love is enough to love us every day.  

We can’t help ourselves and need Him daily.  He’s the master planner and boy have I seen that.  I’m a planner too and this little detail wasn’t on my calendar.  But have I been able to see Him work in so many ways through this rocky path.  He constantly intervenes to accomplish His work, and I can testify to that. 

His plan is right.  It’s good.  It’s not always pretty and what I want, but that’s ok. 

 It helps me to see that it’s not about me, it’s about Him.

These 365 days have been quite different for us all.  We’ve had our ups and downs, our happy moments, and sad ones and times where we’ve been on our knees begging God for a miracle.  

And each time, He’s shown up. 

And shown out.  

As I’ve laid in bed each night this week at the beach, hearing J and Jett’s prayers leave me speechless.  They ask Him to be with mommy and continue to heal my body.  This means so much to hear the guys so near and dear to me, ask this on my behalf each night.  

I know that God hears those sweet, sweet requests.  

Speaking of sweet, while stopping at The Chocolate Tree in Beaufort, as we always do, Jett saw the lady’s breast cancer ribbon pins on her apron.  He whispered to me that she has ribbons like you have, mommy.  He then asked her why she wore them and she replied back that they were special to her and that’s all she said to him with a sweet wink.  He just looked up at me with those big blue eyes and smiled.  I’ve been careful, guarding him from what he hears and sees.  But he picks up on way more than I ever thought he would.  Just like that pink ribbon pin.  I pray that he continues to show compassion and sees how he can make a difference in the lives of other people.  He’s well on his way, and I couldn’t be prouder.  May he never lose sight of the King we serve, and may his faith grow stronger each and every day. 

This week I’ve been able to truly marvel at His creation of the beach and take in the majestic beauty of the ocean, the tides, every grain of sand, and the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. 

I treasure the beautiful shells and even the dead crabs my sweet boy brings me, and for each one I thank the Lord for his sweet self.  

The song “Love Like Crazy” by Lee Brice came on and I lost it.  The lyrics sum up so much of my life...

So love like crazy. 

Never overuse “I love yous.”

Get on your knees.  

Pray for your family and friends. Love your children.  

Love your parents.  

Love your people.  

And ultimately love God.  He’s amazing and I’m looking forward to a full, long life to share His word and experience many more fun memories with the people I love, knowing He’s got me.  

His promise is all I need.  

A promise of an eternity of life with Him.  

Prayer requests:

A friend having upcoming scans 

Friends having upcoming surgeries

A friend receiving radiation for the first time soon

A good report next week from my doc after lowering dosage...bilirubin has been increasing each time and they are monitoring that super closely

Those newly diagnosed

Those fighting daily 

Thank you so much for reading my posts and diligently lifting these friends up.  

“The fear or the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding.  To Him belongs eternal praise.”  Psalm 111:10



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