Cancer Journey Pt 4 – Honest Update

The last couple weeks have been really hard. It’s been two months since I was officially diagnosed and as my husband would say, I have officially passed the “honeymoon phase” of this new season. I talked about this a little bit in my last blog but the keto diet that I am transitioning to has some initial side effects. It can take your body up to 6 weeks to fully transition from burning glucose as fuel to making ketones and using fat and protein as the main energy source. With that said there is an awful in-between time, commonly called the “keto flu,” where the bacteria in your gut that used to feed on the sugars and carbs are starved out and begin to die. This process can cause major mood swings, nausea, and exhaustion and believe me I have been feeling it ALL. On top of that I have been having a lot of rectal pain and pressure, and no I’m not talking about when I go to the bathroom. I’m talking about a constant pain that feels like knives right around my tailbone from the area where my tumors are. In the evenings it gets so bad that I have to use heat packs to ease the pain. Having a heat pack on me is also the only thing that will ease the pain enough for me to be able to fall asleep every night. And since I get up every couple hours at night to go to the bathroom I have to use the heat pack again just to fall back asleep. It wasn’t always like this, just the last 3 weeks especially have been painful. And believe me the pain makes me extremely irritable and grumpy, my poor husband and mom can attest to that.

As I’m walking through this hardship going on in my life right now its difficult not to stop in the busyness of work and running errands and look around at all the people going about their (semi)-normal lives and wonder why I have to go through this. Why am I dealing with cancer when I’m only 26 years old. I’ve lived a pretty healthy life! I didn’t grow up on fast food, never did drugs, I don’t drink, I was always an active kid in school.. the list goes on! Yet here I am dealing with the normal busyness of working full time and being a wife and a mom and on top of that I have to live a super strict lifestyle just to try to contain this tumor growing inside my body. Everything I eat has to be strictly homemade because sugar is the hidden ingredient in literally everything at the grocery store and in all the food at restaurants. I have to over prepare all my meals and my snacks. I can’t just grab a snack while I’m running errands or grab food on the way home from work or go to lunch with a friend because my options are so limited its not worth the risk of their being sugar/gluten/starch/soy (you name it!) in something that I buy.  Not to mention how ridiculously hard it is to go to functions (whether it be work related or just a simple family gathering) and watch everyone else eat whatever they want right in from on me. It’s not fair. It just isn’t. It honestly makes me frustrated and it’s the worst feeling.

To top off the suckyness (which is not a word) of this blog post I had my second monthly checkup with my oncologist this week and he confirmed that my tumors have gotten bigger since last month (which was no surprise to me considering the increase in pain I had been feeling). But despite the setback I honestly feel like the tides are turning. I have a gut feeling that I am in the worst of the storm right now but it will get better from here. I have NOT lost faith. Just because I am struggling and I have not gotten my healing yet doesn’t mean its not coming. God has a plan and a purpose for my life and its not over yet. I know what God has promised me and He has confirmed his awesomeness time and time again so I just have to TRUST. He has me in his arms and He has heard the cry of my heart and the cries of the faithful people praying with me and someday soon that bucket of prayers up in heaven in going to tip and the miracle will poor out over my body and I will be cancer free. Will that be soon? Will that be in a year? I don’t know. I just have to trust and be obedient to God and try to continually be guided by His Spirit.

In the mean time, I hope you will continue to partner with me in prayer and encouragement. This is not an easy time for me and my family but we are doing the best we can. I want to leave you with the lyrics to this Hillary Scott song because I feel like she is speaking straight from my soul.

“I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not
So

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store

So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord”

 

God let that be my heart cry! Let Your Will be done in my body! – Amen

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Cancer Journey Pt. 3 – Keto Diet

Hello friends! I’m excited to type this update! I started seeing a local nutritionist who has had great success with all sorts of cancer patients and other health issues that can be fixed with diet and lifestyle changes. Before I met her I was doing my best to create a regimen with all the information I had been given regarding cancer and how to cure it. We all know that I’m not a professional! I needed some guidance and structure to my plan. I am now meeting with my nutritionist once a week!! Yeahhh!!! She is so great! Below I have broken down what my new strategy is.

Ketogenic Diet

I am now following a strict Ketogenic diet. It is a high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet. It’s still gluten free and sugar free but I can now eat diary as long as it’s organic, raw, and unpasteurized. The point of this diet is to get your body into ketosis. Normally our bodies use carbohydrates and sugars to make energy. When the body is in ketosis there is no sugar or carbs for the body to make energy so the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketones which are then used to fuel the body instead of glucose. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body is now producing ketones as the primary source of energy. It takes up to 6 weeks for your body to fully transition from burning glucose to making ketones. This metabolic state helps your body to be in optimal health for healing. This diet is used to treat epilepsy, various diseases and cancers, and Alzheimers. It has other health benefits as well; decreasing blood pressure, improving cholesterol, improving digestion, increasing energy, and improving mental health. In order to obtain this metabolic state I have cut out all sugars (including sugar substitutes like maple syrup, cocunut sugar, honey..etc) and carbs including all types of potatoes and breads/pastas (unless its homemade). Some basic things that I can eat for meals are soups, meat, and low carb vegetables. All the meat has to be grass fed organic and minimally processed. In order to give my body enough fats I use coconut oil in excess amounts when cooking and eat nuts and thick dairy products like cream and butter.

It has been nice not to have to juice as much the past couple weeks! I have enjoyed looking up new recipes and trying out different soups and dessert options to curb my sweet tooth. I will share with you below two of my favorite desserts so far! They are both gluten free and sugar free!

I just found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that tastes super delicious! Which is saying ALOT, because since being on this diet for a couple weeks I have baked and tried all sorts of sweets with no success! Here is the link  – I used a combination of xylitol and liquid stevia extract as the sweetener (8 tsp’s xylitol and 1/8 tsp stevia). I made most of them with crushed macadamia nuts and the rest with 100% unsweetened cacao chips (cacao can be very bitter so I like the macadamia nuts).

This next one I loved was a lemon blueberry cheesecake crumble! Here is the link – I used a combination of xylitol and liquid stevia extract for the sweetener again. When it says 1/2 a cup of sweetener I used 4 tbsp xylitol and 1/8 tsp liquid stevia extract. When it says 3/4 cup of sweetener I used 6 tbsp xylitol and 1/8 tsp (plus a couple extra drops).

Xylitol is categorized as a sugar alcohol. It looks and tastes like sugar but has 40% fewer calories. It can be found in plants like birch trees and does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels like regular sugar. It is a great alternative to sweetener in recipes and has a 1:1 ratio to sugar which makes the conversion very easy!

Stevia is a sweetener extracted from the leaves of a stevia plant. It is up to 150 times sweeter than sugar so it is very important to use the correct conversions when cooking with it!

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement! I am continually blown away by the love, support and generosity of everyone around me! – Marissa

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Cancer Journey Pt 2

For my second blog I thought I would separate my journey update into battles and blessings. Although this has been a tough few weeks, I have been blown away and reminded of God’s goodness through every step. Thank you again to everyone who has been praying and encouraging me. Your support is a constant reminder that I’m not alone in this battle.

Battles

Daily Routine / Diet change / Supplements

The number one most practical thing I am battling right now is changing my daily routine. In order to boost my immune system I am doing all sorts of things that require many diet and lifestyle changes.  I am taking anywhere from 9-15 different plant-based supplements a day (depending on how many I can get down). My amazing mother and husband juice vegetables and fruits for me almost every night. I try to get down 2 to 3 juice bottles a day and each bottle has an average of 7 full size carrots, 2/3 stocks of celery, half to ¾ of an apple and half a lemon. I have been following a paleo, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, no processed food diet. I bought a couple really great cookbooks and have actually really enjoyed trying new recipes! Another lifestyle change has involved clearing out all the toxins in our home. This includes buying chemical free products like toothpaste, deodorant, dish soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, cleaning products, facial products, lotions, candles/smelly stuff…etc. You would be surprised at how many products we use on a daily basis on our bodies or around our bodies that carry toxic chemicals. Thankfully Young Living has an assortment of household and personal products that are chemical and toxin free, and any natural grocery store will have an abundance of options for cleaner products as well. There is a great free app available for your phone called “Think Dirty” that lets you scan everyday products either at the store or at home and it will show you which ingredients are toxic and what products are clear of chemicals.

Second Opinion Oncologist

I wanted to get an opinion from another oncologist that was not associated with Peace Health or the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. I met with a new doctor last week in Springfield. He has a very small and inviting office and practices more personalized care treatment options.  I felt really good about his office and his staff but before the appointment my spirit and my stomach were very unsettled. As soon as I met him he was not the warm and fuzzy person that I had imagined him to be. As I sat there with my mom and my husband listening to him talk about surgery, chemo and radiation he was very matter of fact. Not surprised by his treatment ideas, he suggested chemo and surgery would be the best route for me. He again confirmed that because of the size and location of my tumor, my entire rectum would need to be removed if they did surgery. He concluded his talk by saying that if I decided to do none of those treatment options that I was going to die. In that moment I sensed my spirit shift. I was about to look this man (who legitimately thinks I’m going to die if I don’t follow his treatment plan) in the eyes and tell him that I had already decided not to do chemo, radiation, or surgery and that God was going to heal me. Although I was terrified, I felt a confidence and a strength come upon me. I knew I was going to have to be bold and let him know exactly how I felt. I told him that I believed God created our bodies to heal themselves if we fed it the right nutrition. I said I was going to do everything I could to boost my immune system and help my body fight this cancer naturally and that God was going to heal me. He was taken back a bit. Drawing on what he knows best (science!), he proceeded to tell me all sorts of scary statistics and percentages of people who have opted not to receive care and didn’t make it or decided to receive care too late. He also told me that he has had handfuls of people tell him what I’ve told him and not one has survived. Though his fear tactics may work on most people for me I am not driven by a fear of death, we are all going to die someday, right? I would rather be motivated by a fear of God. When you put into perspective that God not only created us from dust but created the entire earth and universe, anything is possible with him! My tumor is just a spec in the realm of what God can do. I began to ask the doctor if he believed in miracles. He said he didn’t, and stated that he is a scientist who believes in statistics and studies. Although he didn’t support my decision he did say that he wanted to still be a part of my journey in some way and asked how he could help. I told him I needed some way to monitor my progress and keep tabs on how my body is doing as I heal. He agreed to do so but with hesitation he said “what if you come in in a month or so and your tumor is bigger”. I looked at him and said, “In my situation there is no ‘what ifs’ there is only faith”. I have learned that we can spend all day saying “what if” in any given situation but all that does is open the door for fear, and no major decision should be decided out of fear.  We have to capture those “what if” thoughts before they get any farther and then remind ourselves of God’s truths. God is good. I don’t know how to explain it but I know in my heart that I will get better.  I just have to keep that on the forefront of my mind and not let fear try to manipulate my decisions. I asked the doctor if he would believe in miracles if I came out of this journey healthy and healed and I don’t remember what his response was but it wasn’t yes. After the appointment I was reflecting on why I thought God lead me to meet with this specific doctor. I left a bit shaken and disappointed that I didn’t get what I was hoping for from the appointment. Then I realized I was only thinking of myself, when in reality, I think God was leading me to this appointment so that I could plant a seed in someone who has never believed in or seen a miracle. I know now that God put this man in the path of my journey to, not only help me monitor my progress, but to be a firsthand witness to my testimony and the miracle that will take place in my body. I have my first appointment on Monday which will be the marker for the rest of my progress! Please keep me in your prayers!  (Update at the end of this blog)

 

Blessings

Now we get to talk about the exciting stuff! God has been so faithful to us and shown us that he will take care of all of our practical needs during this journey! Below are some of the amazing blessings we have received in the past month since being diagnosed.

JOB – I have been extremely blessed to have worked for Windermere for over 3 and a half years. They were so great to work for and I received countless blessings from them over the years. I honestly thought I was going to work there 10+ years. Although I loved my job, because I was just part time I wasn’t getting any benefits and had to pay for out of pocket insurance for myself and Hailey. 90-100% of my pay checks were going towards monthly insurance premiums and babysitting. Back in May I had a friend tell me about a job opening that was similar to what I was doing currently just in a different industry with greater opportunities for growth. Over the next three months I did multiple interviews with the company and was hired in August. My very FIRST WEEK on the job I had an emergency colonoscopy and was diagnosed with cancer. God’s timing is always so perfect.  My new job came with full time benefits, a huge raise, and greater flexibility in my hours. Starting Oct. 1st I will have insurance for me and Hailey through my work, two different forms of life insurance, Aflac, and short term and long term disability. Praise God!  – (Also my new office is less than a BLOCK away from Whole Foods!! Talk about convenient! Such a blessing!)

Research – I have family members who have spent countless hours reading and doing research on my behalf and I am beyond grateful for the knowledge they have helped me with in such a short amount of time!

Water – The pH of our bodies plays a big role in cancer. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment and cannot live in an alkaline environment. The foods we eat and the things we drink change our bodies’ pH levels. In order to get our bodies more alkaline we can eat more fruits and vegetables and we can drink water that has a pH of 7 or higher. Bottled water and tap water are not good for cancer patients trying to get their bodies more alkaline. You need to buy water that has been processed through special machines that change its pH level to be more alkaline. Thankfully we have a family member who refills large jugs of water for me on a weekly basis from a local company that sells high pH water. God is so good!  (Fun Fact – one 12 oz can of Coke has a pH of between 2 and 3, very acidic. Our bodies would have to drink 32 glasses of water with a pH of 9 or higher just to rebalance your body back to neutral, crazy!!)

Fish – Levi’s amazing co-worker and her husband have dedicated weekends to go out deep sea fishing and catch us HUGE salmon to put in our freezer. They have caught two so far and we tried some of it for dinner the other night and it was the best tasting salmon we have ever had! They have starting calling their fishing adventures “fishing for a cause”! Haha! Seriously so generous of them and a huge blessing!

Organic Deliveries – We have been beyond blessed by one amazing company called “Homegrown Delivery” here in Eugene and another amazing couple.  Homegrown delivery has donated us a weekly delivery of fresh local organic fruits and vegetables. And we have a second delivery once a week coming from a loving couple who wanted to help. We are SO blessed by these deliveries!

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Gift cards – we have received almost $300 worth of gift cards to Whole Foods from title companies and coworkers that are affiliates of Windermere. Even though I no longer work with them they have chosen to provide for us in a tangible way and we are beyond grateful!

Juice Plus – This is an awesome company that sells whole food/plant based supplements and an amazing couple has donated us a 4 months’ supply of pills!

Bottles – Another amazing couple who I used to work with at Windermere had more glass bottles for juicing and a cancer fighting nutrition book sent straight to our door! Cannot believe the great timing of this delivery! Thank you guys!

Spa Days – My amazing sister is taking me to biweekly appointments at one of the best spas in Eugene so we can relax and have fun together. She really is the best!

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Exercise – Another amazing testimony already is that my energy levels have vastly improved over the last few weeks! When I started this journey I wanted to be able to work out 30 minutes a day, even if it was just a slow walk on the treadmill. My first few days of working out all I could do was 1mph on the treadmill and I had to use my arms on the side bars to hold myself up as I walked. I think I made it just over half a mile. Since then I can now walk at a pace of 2.6 mph and can make it almost 1.5 miles in 30 min. and still feel strong when I’m done! And my need for naps/laying down during the day have almost diminished completely! I’m starting to feel more like myself again!

Check – I will try not to cry when I write this one. My dear friends Zanna and Greg at Windermere organized a company wide effort to raise funds to help me get through my journey and not feel stressed by finances. The generosity of all the agents and affiliates of Windermere has always blown me away but this time it was different, I didn’t even work for them anymore and they still wanted to help! When I opened the check that Zanna had given me from everyone who pitched in my heart stopped a beat. My eyes flooded with tears and I can’t even put into words what I felt in that moment. An overwhelming feeling of gratitude and awe swept over me as I looked at the check made out in my name for $7,000! Not only will this cover our medical bills but it will cover many months of buying organic, paying for supplements, and all the other expenses that have come up! We are just so grateful!

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for me and encouraging me! Your prayers are greatly felt! Thank you for all the support! – Marissa

As a side note – If anyone is interested in learning more about cancer, how to prevent it, what causes it… etc. Here is a good starting point! “The Truth about Cancer” has books, Dvds, and lots of Youtube videos with really eye opening information. I would recommend everyone do their own research into cancer! In the United States cancer will affect 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in their lifetime and is set to double its impact by 2030. Getting a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables is one of the BEST things you can do every day to help your body fight off cancer cells and keep them from growing. Do your part and be informed!

Update from Monday’s Appointment! – Last weekend we had guest speakers at our church that were in town for a conference and they held a healing service where I was prayed over. The following Monday was my appointment with the oncologist to start my progress charts. He did a physical to feel for the tumor and said he felt 360 degrees of nodules and showed me that they were about an inch or so in size. He was very quiet and didn’t mention one thing about finding a large tumor! I’m not sure if he was thrown off by not finding what he saw from my colonoscopy or my CT scan but I think that the results were positive! We have our next appointment in a month to check again so I will ask him more detailed questions about my progress and if the tumor has gone down significantly. Again thank you for the continual prayers! Although I had a great positive day on Monday, I felt a strong wave of discouragement on Tuesday and I know the enemy was trying to take down my spirit. Please pray for a renewed hope and faith among the many highs and the lows of my journey. Being emotionally strong is going to play a big role in my healing journey and I won’t let the enemy try to steal my joy or take me down after God’s victories!

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Cancer Journey Pt. 1

As many of you know I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer on Aug. 31st, 2017. I wanted a way to share my journey with those that were interested so here we go! I am naturally a very quiet and reserved person so being vulnerable about my healing journey is going to be a stretch for me but I’m excited to share because this journey will ultimately become apart of my testimony. I am praying and believing that God will work a miracle in my body! Call me crazy but my confidence lies in Christ Jesus, not the doctors or western medicine.

If you want to hear my story from the very beginning start here… (If you want to skip to what is happening right now then scroll on down a little ways) 🙂

With that said here is my story… I have been struggling with rectal bleeding for about 4 years now. During my pregnancy with my now 17 month old daughter Hailey, my symptoms expanded to severe constipation and have gotten worse with time. I knew something was wrong. My gut twisted with nerves over the years because I could feel something serious was going on but I ignored it for as long as I could. I had been to the doctor and several specialists a few times but they couldn’t find anything wrong without doing a colonoscopy and they didn’t seem to be that concerned. I held off on the colonoscopy for as long as I could because I had just had a baby and was nursing full time. A couple months after Hailey’s first birthday, I made appointments to reschedule my colonoscopy. They couldn’t get me in till the end of November, over 4 months out! I made the appointment anyways. Towards the end of August my day to day symptoms were so bad that it was getting too hard to live with. I couldn’t keep any weight on and had lost a bunch in the last few months. I finally went back to the doctors and told them something was really wrong and thankfully they were able to get me in for an emergency colonoscopy within a week, with a CT scan the very next morning.

As soon as I woke up from having the colonoscopy the doctor who had done the procedure came in to tell me what they had found. As he was telling me that they had discovered large cancerous tumors in my rectum I was surprisingly very calm and relieved to finally be able to get some answers. I had been struggling in the dark for so long it actually felt like a breath of fresh air to hear what the problem was so that I knew exactly what my body was up against. I didn’t want to keep fighting the symptoms when I knew something bigger was the real issue. With my mind now set on learning everything I could about fighting rectal colon cancer, I was ready for war against my own body.

The next day I had a CT scan to ensure that the cancer had not spread into my lymph nodes or any surrounding organs. Thankfully they did not see any movement of the cancer to other parts of my body, praise God! That afternoon I had an appointment with a surgeun to talk about my options. Unfortunately he said that the tumor was too large to safely remove at this time and that I would need to do chemo and radiation for a few weeks first to hopefully shrink it down enough for him to safely remove. And even after the chemo and radiation the likelyhood of having to remove my whole rectum was still a possibility (which for those that don’t know means that I would have a permanent bag attached to me for my bowels to come out of, boy does that sound fun).

The few days later I had an appointment with my oncologist (a cancer specialist that does chemo). He said my treatment plan was 5 weeks of chemo and radiation, then do surgery to remove what they could of the tumor and then do 5 months of even stronger chemo to finish. When I asked him what the success rate was of this treatment plan he said roughly 60%. The chemo could be administered by taking a pill twice a day or by a vein in my chest and I would wear a bag around my waste that would drip the chemo into me slowly everyday. The down side of the pills was that the side effects are way stronger and the effectiveness was not as certain. Side effects of both included toxic sores on my skin and hands, nausea, vomiting, pain of all kinds, blood disorders, damaged nervous system… And the list goes on. If you have done any research on chemo you know that it is actually a toxin that is administered into your blood stream and if it’s effective it will kill the cancer cells but it also kills all your normal healthy cells as well.

A couple days later I spoke with the radiologist. She explained what radiation was and it’s effects. For treatment I would go in everyday for a short 5 minute visit to do the radiation beam on the affected area for about 5 weeks. Some of the mild side effects include painful sunburns and rashes near the area where the beam hits. Some of the long term effects include infertility, loss of rectal function and long term damage to surrounding organs like the ovaries, which would put me into menopause (which has its own side effects because I’m so young). She suggested if I want to try to have more kids and I decided to undergo the radiation that I should get my eggs harvested and then have surgery to move my ovaries farther away from the tumor and radiation beams. Even with the surgery there is still a high chance that my ovaries and uterus would be too damaged to have more children. If my rectum were to get damaged I would again need a bag to divert my bowel from my body permanently.

Yes this all sounds horrible and terrifying, I agree. But amidst all the crazy things that have been told to me the past couple weeks I have felt an overwhelming peace and calmness that somehow everything is going to be ok. I know my journey will be extremely difficult but in the end it will all be worth it. I will come out of this a stronger healthier version of myself and hopefully when I come out of this cloud of darkness I can help others come out as well.

With that said as of right now I have decided not to do the chemo and radiation treatment. To be honest the treatment and it’s effects sound worse than the cancer itself! Yikes! But more than that my family and I have spent countless hours researching ways to heal cancer naturally and have found great success stories, even from terminally ill patients who were given less than 30 days to live. God has created our bodies to be self healing as long as we give it the nourishment and nutrients it needs. By doing things like exercising, cutting out toxins, juicing, taking supplements, cutting out processed food and removing stress anyone can help their bodies prevent cancer from growing. What I have learned is that everyone has cancer cells already living in there bodies. We are either feeding or suppressing those cancer cells with the way we live our lives and what we put into our bodies. Your mental strength also plays a huge part in your physical health. Just thinking positively and believing that you will get better is half the battle. For me, I believe that God already sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and that includes our sicknesses. According to Jesus, it is finished! We just have to claim our healing and proclaim it over ourselves.

My personal treatment plan – as of right now I don’t have a solid routine down but when I get one I will definitely share it. What I do know is I am trying to implement all sorts of natural cancer fighting things into my daily life. This includes juicing raw vegetables, taking strategic vitamins/supplements, using my Young living frankincense oil topically and internally everyday, 30 min of exercise everyday, and managing my stress levels. Praying and reading out loud healing verses in the morning and in the evening is also an important goal. My diet has changed dramatically since my diagnosis. I am cutting out all processed foods and sugars. Cancer feeds on sugar and carbs so in order to starve the cancer cells and boost my bodies natural defenses I will be eating mainly raw fruits and vegetables, some fish for protein, and homemade shakes/smoothies.

If you would like to partner with me in prayer here are some specific prayer requests. First of all I need to gain weight so my body can be stronger and healthier to fight this tumor. Secondly I need grace for my change in diet and taking a TON of supplements (I am not great at taking pills so this is a huge difficultly for me, especially with my bad gag reflex). My body is constantly exhausted and tired so strength and energy are much needed as well. And lastly but most importantly pray that I stay positive mentally and keep the motivation and fighting spirit alive every morning!

Thank you to all my family and friends who have been uplifting me and praying for me. I honestly couldn’t get through the days without my family helping me and keeping me strong. I love you guys! Thank you for your support and encouragement!

ocean

 

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Brad and Callie’s Wedding

Hey everyone! Life with my little 4 month old has been very busy, but I am excited to get back on track and update my blog with the weddings I shot last summer! I took this summer (2016) off from shooting weddings so I could lay low and be with my daughter but next summer I am hoping to be back in full swing!

Brad and Callie’s wedding was the first one of the summer for me last year and I was actually a couple weeks pregnant but I didn’t know it yet! They had the cutest country farm wedding and the venue was actually at their own property just south of Eugene. I went to high school with Callie back in the day and she has always been such a sweetheart. I loved working with her and Brad and I am so excited to show you some of their pictures. It has been over a year now since their wedding and they just had their first baby, miss Bailey Jean. I got permission to steal a couple pictures from her facebook page so you could sneak a peak at the little one for yourself! She is a cutie! Hope you enjoy!
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The newest addition to their happy family!!

Bailey Jean ❤

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Family Shoots from Fall 2015

Happy New Year! It is officially 2016!! Crazy how fast time goes sometimes. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite pictures from some of the family shoots I did last fall. Enjoy!! 🙂IMG_53022IMG_53572IMG_5617IMG_5337IMG_5641IMG_5473IMG_13632IMG_1872IMG_15232IMG_1822IMG_1755IMG_1836IMG_2267IMG_2290IMG_2321IMG_23342IMG_2370IMG_11662IMG_0912IMG_0987IMG_09262IMG_0956

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