IV Chemo Strikes Again. (A Grumpy Post.)

by Christie Perkins

Three weeks ago my blood work showed that my tumor markers tripled in just a 2 month time period. We knew where my next treatments were heading (IV chemo. Yuck.) but we needed to take a cat scan first. Cat scan revealed the secrets of the blood work and that’s when I started watering my flowerpots with my eyes.

Hey. We’ve been on a drought restriction so sometimes you just gotta get creative. Except I think I drowned a few pots (ok, ok… I really didn’t but it would have been a really good idea. Why do all the good ideas come later?).

So the new news of more cancer growth on the spine and multiple spreading spots on my liver is hard to take. Magic potion number 9 wasn’t quite right for me. Above all, the thing that bothers me most is that I can’t quite catch my own grip on this news.

Stop crying girl.

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Guaranteed Picture Perfect Moments

by Christie Perkins

Sometimes we think we know what is best for us.

Yeah, we think we have it all figured all out. You know, it’s the perfect, flawless, plan. In our heads the picture is complete. We actually think we know all of the details of what is best for us. And then (because we claim the teenage syndrome of “all knowing”) sometimes question why prayers aren’t being answered. We wonder if we are being heard at all.

Guaranteed Picture Perfect MomentsBut if we step back we will realize that our picture’s not quite perfect: we are just a kindergartners attempting to draw the perfect picture. As an adult it is easy to see that a person has shoulders, not just arms protruding from a neck that’s the same size as our thighs and hips. And there’s more to a simple line for our lips. A scraggly lined lip isn’t really fire engine red but a soft muted mauve.

Experience and prior mistakes in our own drawings tell us so. (Well that and my high school art teacher… who knew the eyeballs are not actually positioned on our hairline?) Continue reading

How Cancer Changed My Grocery Shopping Excursion

by Christie Perkins

Cancer has changed me.

Before cancer I would grocery shop. Hustle, bustle, grumble, toss. It was just shopping, right? But, really, the thing I liked most about shopping was the people I would brush you're the greatest!against. When I think about it, this random people connection is really the only perk to grocery shopping. I would stand behind my cart and voluntarily hand out smile samples to random nameless go cart racers.

I liked greeting strangers. And to the familiar faces I would give a hey-holler. Personally, I like it when people want to see me, so I assume others like it when I see them. So I ding them with a smile.

It’s simple. But, it’s what I do when I shop. It’s how I shop. Continue reading

Cancer: Episode 2

by Christie Perkins

Funny how Heavenly Father has been helping me all along.

You know how sometimes you do things and you think that you are helping someone else. You hope and think you are changing the world in some small way. Your impressions to do certain things are so strong and as you follow them you are certain that someone was being helped by you and your efforts.

But then I realized something: this was all meant for me.

Cancer_ Episode 2All of this stressing, and worrying, and thinking, and planning, and writing was all for me. I was guided and prompted… and reminded of the goodness of God. I prayed many times that whoever needed these words on my blog would feel them and benefit from them. Heavenly Father in His goodness and kindness was telling me eternal truths that I felt so passionately about. I prayed that I would reach that one person who truly needed it.

I had no idea that that one person would be me. Continue reading

If Pumpkins Can Smile, So Can You

The Happy Pumpkin Parable

by Christie Perkins

So, I found this pumpkin at the pumpkin patch. He was smiling. No one got a hold of him and forced him to smile but by natures own undertaking he was sharing a genuine smile.

howperkyworks.com (2)A real, unforced, uncarved smile.

I just had to bring him home with me so I bought the little guy and I let his attitude rub off on me. Yes, I understand it is just a pumpkin. Not a thing with actual feelings, or moments of frazzle, bad attitudes, or glorious moments of pizzaz. I get that. But there was something magical about him.

His smile was catchy. He smiled when we fought, when we had a bad day, when the house was a mess; when my piano music was off beat. He wasn’t mocking he was just seeing the good when maybe I couldn’t.

I’m a fan of this genuine little pumpkin man.

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An Email From Heaven

Run, Run, Run As Fast As You Can

by Christie Perkins

ROADTRIPLast year, at this time, I was only about 6 months free of cancer treatments. The toll on my body was still in full effect. I was tired but happy (as anyone knows who has ever gone through chemo knows that true happiness is the ditching of chemo treatments).

I knew my energy levels so I was certain that I wasn’t going to run the “pink race”. It’s a 5k/1 mile walk to raise money for local breast cancer patients. One of my cancer friends is the 5k head hauncho. But, the alligator tears from my 3 year old who wanted to run for mommy had me at the line up. Continue reading

Hard Times are Holy Places

by Christie Perkins

Hard times are holy places.

That’s how I’ve come to feel about some of the most difficult times in my life. As I walked through cancer I could feel the power of God carrying me. What a sweet experience to feel snug, nestled in God’s hand.

He was very close.

 

Alone In Struggles

2015 st. george narrows and temple, etc 140But, there have been times when I have felt alone in my struggles. Times when I wondered if there was a soul in the world who knew my pain. In middle school I remember having a particularly difficult day. Now, since I’ve long surpassed middle school, the technicalities of the troubles are unclear to me.

I am certain the problems were minor compared to some of the things I have since faced, but at this little pixel point in my life it was a heavy burden to me.

As I pondered on solutions, I was stumped about answers to my troubles. Only the sound of tires grabbing the road could calm me. And concentration on my momentary road abode was just a temporary escape from the real issue, the constant noise took my mind off it all. Continue reading

The Blues of Cancer News

Accepting God’s Will

by Christie Perkins

So first thing I know I’m in a relentless dizzy whirlwind.  And I’m wondering is it possible to drown in a whirlwind?  And just as fiercely it spits me somewhere in the middle of a silent ocean; on a little rickety row boat I float.  There’s not a breeze, no water licks the sides of the boat, and there’s a shark looming underneath.  I can’t see it, but I feel it in that queasy feeling in my stomach.  My thoughts are loud, extremely loud.  And there’s no escape.

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But I smile.  It’s fake.

I don’t want my kids picking up on my distress signal.  But the warning lights have been flashing for 15 days now.  The biopsy was 8 days ago.  The promised 3-5 day results are overdue.

It is here on this eery ocean I sit quietly and wait for a rescue.   I desperately need a rescue, any rescue.

I’m not so sure I can take one more day of worry.  At this point, any news will soothe. Continue reading

What? There’s Rain on My Parade!

Tips to Overcoming a Change of Plans

by Christie Perkins

Perkins Family 08-12 01-13 034I have always loved the rain.  I like how it dusts off blades of grass and paints everything Crayola green.  I love the way it smells and how the chill of cool fresh air brushes my cheeks and curls around the back of my neck.  I love the tap dance of rain on cement and the grand applause from the rooftop.

I stop everything I am doing, rush to find a blanket, and hustle the kids outside.  We know it will only last a moment.  Poof!  Umbrellas pop and hover and stories emerge.  I flip out a smile when I watch temperature resistant kids submerge bare feet in puddles.  Goose bump inspired thoughts cause me to tug my blanket in just a bit tighter.  Continue reading

Opportunity of Opposition

I Can Get Through My Tough Times #BecauseHeLives

by Christie Perkins

photo (720x960)We are meant to face hard things.  There must be opposition in all things so that we can understand the beauty of the good.

And there is so much good in this life.

When a simple phrase like “we’re just making memories” won’t do, there’s still a rescue that’s awaiting you.  Only the Savior can bear these burdens.

There have been times that I have tried to carry my own burdens but to no avail.  But, it wasn’t until I got down on my knees and poured out my heart concerning my troubles that He rescued me. Continue reading