About Christie Perkins

I'm just and ordinary girl (yes, girl) who loves life. After a battle with chemo, radiation, and two types of breast cancer I can't help but see the perks of every day. I celebrate life by writing and loving more deeply. Couldn't be happier. I live in Utah with my husband and four boys.

Cancer and Magic Potion Number 9

by Christie Perkins

I gasped a little. Maybe I shouldn’t have. It’s silly to gasp when something is exactly what you want it to be. Perfect bloodwork. Yeah. I mean, really, who doesn’t want replenished white armored army warriors for bloodwork? You see, I was climbing back out from under my neutropenic plunk and my white blood cells and neutrophils were normalizing. I was gaining my fighting power back.

Again.

Each time I take my Ibrance pills my blood goes scuba diving.

But my gasp was not an element of birthday party surprise, it was credited to the boogie man lurking in the dark surprise. You see, the recovery from my last neutropenic plunk only meant one clear thing: If my white blood cells and neutrophils are up that means I have to start my new chemo pill. My current medication isn’t giving me the kapow I need.

So a new pill means new side effects, new adjustments, and reestablishing my new norm. Ugh.

Over the last 8 months my doctor has continuously dropped my current chemo pill dosing to avoid my blood levels from crashing. Each month we hope the new dosing will level out my fighting power but with each month I skid on the bottom before I get to the end of the cycle. It takes a while to get me normalized before trying the new reduced dosing. My clearance chemo isn’t quite cutting it.

And in the process my tumors have been getting hungry and beefing up. Continue reading

Easter: Power Over Death and a Ray of Sunshine

by Christie Perkins

Power over death. What an incredible gift.

The true meaning of Easter is much more significant than it has ever been for me. Stage 4 cancer has given me this valuable insight and appreciation of the resurrection.

The Savior took upon Him our pains and afflictions and broke the bands of death.

 

The Bands of Death

Now I don’t know about you but when you are handed a slip of paper that foretells your death ticket: non-curable stage 4 cancer the bands of death take on a whole new meaning.

Suddenly “beginning with the end in mind” is incorporated into everything you do. The heavy burden of death challenges how you spend time, how you interact with others, what you think about, and how you spend your money.

It’s a blessing and a curse. Continue reading

The Redbox Bunny Miracle

by Christie Perkins

I swear it was sitting right there.

The rush of the night had me winging the hairdo (yikes) and flinging the overdue redbox in the van. Well, actually I had my kiddo take care of the redbox. I had to return it because we were already late.

Last year we had this horrible habit of returning redbox rentals several days later. I made a new goal and commitment to make better use of my money. We would return movies the next night. And things were going well with that until…

Until, I don’t know what.

You know those moments when the redbox grins at you from the corner of the room and you gasp. Oh no! We haven’t returned that yet?

So we do that responsibility shift game. I ask my husband to take it on his way to work. Later that day he remembers he forgot to take it- so he texts me and asks me to take it in. And… I’m not sure what happens but I forget to take it. And before we know it my bank account it draining from a redbox rental.

And I didn’t love the movie that much to start with. Continue reading

Avoid Shirking Work

by Christie Perkins

In the winter we get a home grown ice skating rink by my front door. Thank you north facing lot. You do have to bring your own ice skates but if you want to do pirouettes or figure 8’s the entertainment is basically free. Well, unless you slip and have to wear permanent doughnuts to all future gathering places.

Anyway.

So you know how you most people are inclined to believe what they find on the internet? Well. Well, I found a piece of information that I thought would be a fabulous idea for de-greasing the ice rink. It’s called ashes.

Yeah. Wood burning ashes. I decided it would be a great idea to cut the work. You know, the “easy” way out. That’s what I thought it would do anyway. Continue reading

Finding Peace in Impossible Circumstances

by Christie Perkins

My medical records now have a new permanent line: liver metastases. We wondered if we could just cut out the new tumors in the liver but the doctor says that it won’t do any good because with stage 4 cancer there are just cancer cells everywhere. We don’t ever really get rid of it we just try and keep it from spreading.

Oh yeah. That’s right.

Little factoid here: Breast cancer that has metastasized (stage 4 cancer) loves to travel to the bones, the ovaries, the brain, and the liver. I’ve eliminated the ovaries (neener-neener can’t catch me), checked the brain, and am already hosting a party in the bones, and now it’s in the liver.

But, don’t you stress now.

(We are trying to keep the cancer tourists from hearing about this new premium prime location- so shhhh! Don’t mention it.) It’s true, it’s not exactly the best news but the way I see it- they are just a few wimpy spots anyway. But the thing I can’t quite shake is the peace. Yeah, the peace. No matter what, it won’t leave me.

I like it. Continue reading

The Power of Pains

by Christie Perkins

Tears at bedtime are not all that uncommon. It’s because there is pain. Hunger pains that is. These hunger pains become the outrageous Water Meter Reader.

And it’s not me crying… it’s my little guy.

Now I’ve learned a thing or two about pain in my cancer journey. Most of the time I’m feeling alright but there are times when I understand good old physical pain. Mostly it is in my hip (prime vacation tumor location). I can admit tho, that most of the time I feel quite normal. In fact I feel great!

But, in the reconstruction phase of my cancer journey there have been moments of intense pain (I’ll save that for another post), so I could relate to this little hunger pain.

Yet, I’m not very compassionate.

I’m not compassionate because I’ve slaved in the kitchen a-fixin’ the meal and all I get is a squeal- “I don’t like it,” he says. Continue reading

How I Landed My Brain MRI; New Findings

by Christie PErkiNS

This all started with my “trip” to¬† in Home Depot. I was just checking out lights. Luckily it was just my husband, me, and my random eyewitness that was on the aisle.

The floor was incredibly flat and smooth, not slick even a niche. Then poof! I dropped from eyesight. It’s like a magic trick. You know how tricks like this work: you see it, but you don’t.

How in the world can you fall on that? “That,” meaning nothing. I question my trick.

But, since my eyewitness was mentally documenting my fall and my husband had that quizzical look on his face I decided to fool them again. I pretended nothing happened. But the cock-eyed looks from the gents on the aisle made me splash out a smile, a chuckle, and a shrug.

Lets just forget that… moving along.

A couple of days later I’m in the granite store and we do a repeat trick. Wow. Fabulous moments going on here. Always getting the same quizzical look and silent words reverberate loud and clear in my ear…

What in the world?

My finale is always the same though: a smile, oops eyes, and a shrug. And the next several days I continue to fall when I walk. I trip on a thin cardboard box, the end of the broom- the straw fluffy-puff end, not the handle.

People begin booking my stunts. Continue reading

Organizing Tip: 100 Item Dash

by Christie Perkins

So I wake up every morning greeted by the mod podge dumpings just beyond the foot of my bed. Some of it is new stuff that needs new places, some of it old. Hello! The pile is a little more chipper than I am at it’s rude awakening.

Ta-dah!

Hey, I say then run away. I like you and all but my spaces are small, you look comfortable there next to the wall. But, it’s about time I combat my inner brawl.

You (pile of things) have out-stayed your welcome. I keep feeding you more and more things because… because, well, you look hungry. Yeah, that’s it. You eat everything that anyone feeds you, rejecting no offers (Dude! even dilapidated Christmas bows and useless empty boxes that stow… this pile just grows and grows!). You suck my energy then expect me to pick up after you. You are sleeping at the foot of my bed, and though you don’t snore your drooling all over the place. I like you. I do. I just need my own space of sunshine and grace.

And then the solution to the problem I got: you just need your own-grown name-plot spot.

Well. There’s a sunrise moment if you’ve never seen one. (And since I would rather close my eyes to it, it festered like an oozy zit… ok, I’ll stop this rhyming fit.)

Maybe. Continue reading

Just One New Year’s Goal That Packs a Punch!

by Christie Perins

No regrets: It’s the phrase that’s been clinking around in my head for a couple of months now.

Every year a new theme surfaces. I grab hold. It’s as if I have been mixing around all the things I’ve been wanting to focus on this year and the cream for the upcoming year rises to the top. Ooh, I want that! I tell myself. I want something a little more than I had last year.

I want a year of no regrets.

This phrase, of course, stems from regrets. Everyone has them. I think regrets are a tender mercy. It’s a learning moment that bump scoots you to a better road ahead. Or it stop plops you in a muddy path… but that’s not an option we want to choose, right?

I have simple regrets like wishing I spent more time with the kids, that I maximized my efforts, that I was more organized, that I connected better with those close to me; that sugar balls weren’t a food group. Most of the regrets are simple regrets. I even regret not hitting the text books more (yeah, remember I’m boring like that… it’s fine we can still be friends).

Anyway, this phrase surfaced right to the top. Yes, I want of year of no regrets.

I like it. Continue reading

Caught Up In The Rush?

by Christie Perkins

The busy inns turned away Mary and Joseph. Too much going on. What they didn’t realize was that there was a special little package arriving. A package that even they would need: the Christ child and His gifts to us.

If only they knew they simply needed to just let Him in. Yes, the inns were full (much like my own Christmas rush days- except full of things to do). What I didn’t realize is that I have to “make room” for Him.

It doesn’t just happen all on it’s own. I learned this lesson last week. Continue reading