Archive | September, 2012


20 Sep

Today I visited an ophthalmologist at the Clinic. This appointment is the result of an on going, red and swollen eye. as the nurse reviewed and examined I recalled these types of visits as a kid. I remember reading the letter charts and thinking seriously, people can’t read these? It was actually challenging today from my bad eye, this was nerve racking. Come to find out the dr thinks I was battling a viral infection and the antibacterial drops I was using actually have irritated and agitated my eyes. I am hopeful the new drops will get these eyes back to normal. It is amazing how the simple things in life are taken for granted. I am blessed to see and look around me and know the sights of His creation.They think I could have a dry eye which is a symptom of GVHD of the eye, but at this point does not raise concern.

Thankful we are to Friday!

Personal Day

19 Sep

When one is employed by someone other than themselves they are quite familiar with personal days. I now am familiar and love having my husbands personal day became our date day. We could not have asked for a nicer fall day to spend together. We dreamt big, and embraced reality yet enjoyed every minute!
Thanks to helping hands the kids were covered through the day and the different school and lunch transitions.

Rabbit trail story….so yesterday I officially used the ‘cancer card’. I was driving Paige to the dentist after school. We were going down portage trail hill, and halfway down the hill I see flashing lights behind me. I am aghast, and shocked. Mind you I often am multi tasking while driving,but at this moment I was doing nothing illegal, just driving and talking to P. The police man comes to my door, ma’m your plates expired in July. I am shocked, hmm what was in July? I then proceed to tell him our story, the short version, sir I was diagnosed with cancer spent half summer in hospital we have three kids, that detail got missed. He said,” I understand”, and took my license to his car. Then came back moments later. ” Mrs. Armstrong, I am sorry I misspoke , I can’t imagine or understand your summer. I will not give you a ticket, but this needs handled.”

Needless to say we started our morning at the BMV. One car is legal now and the other is in process, it is never easy. Then we ventured on a hiking trail. It was lovely, part sun some woods, quiet and talking. The scenery much better than the hospital halls we grew accustom to. A lunch date on a day off feels like a treat. Followed by a fall latte seems like too much for one day but we managed. I am thankful for Adam and his personal day. I like being part of his “personal” business.



Paigelina Ballerina

19 Sep

Not only do we have a tap dancer, soccer payer in the house but we have a ballerina. Paige originally wanted to join the tap world. This only seemed fair as this is the avenue of dance Hayleigh selected. However, last week Paige attended tap class, and following class she reported to Adam, “dad I would rather do ballet, I have already taken ballet classes, so I would like to get better at that.”. This I felt was a mature and well processed decision. This week she plied and re entered the world of ballet.

Paige loves to dance and sing. She is often found making a joyful noise to the Lord. When I watch her dance and as she glances at her reflection in the mirror, it makes me pray hard for her heart and her body that however she chooses to use her talents it would be to His glory.



Random deeper thoughts

18 Sep

Today Paige cried. This is not overly common nor unexpected, yet annoying as I didn’t understand why? This piano song is not that hard, why are you crying? My frustration level rising. Many minutes pass, adam arrives home and we are loading up the car for dance. My much more patient husband consoled her and said we would talk later about her tears. She said, “dad I am not crying about piano….she was crying tears of pain for a friend at school.”. She was trying so hard to hold in her sweet sensitive spirit that needed released. This momma asked for forgiveness and talked through her emotions and the situation at hand. She has certainly learned to love well, with the depth of her sweet 7 year old heart. We prayed and will pray together for this family.

I read on another cancer patient blog about a local woman who has survived ovarian cancer. She has taken on a role of an advocate to make more people aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and to find a cure. This made me think about what I am an advocate for as a survivor of cancer and transplant. I think about how I prayed for purpose and He gave it. I am an advocate of knowing and trusting Christ with my life, my future, and my today. I am advocate of knowing Him in sickness and in health. I find I get hacked off when I hear people pushing for money for a cure, because as I watch the E.O.B’s roll in each week and the crazy amounts of money cancer provides for the hospitals and government I am more and more certain a cure is not on the horizon! The cure in my opinion is knowing that whether we live or die on this earth there is more than this. Eternal life with our creator is offered and there lies the cure.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21:3-4, NIV)

Fall is here

16 Sep

Fall is fun, fabulous, fantastically colorful, full of amazing things. I love fall, but I will be up front I love spring and summer too! I think jeans and t shirts are comfy and attractive. I prefer flip flops, but these brisk nights make me embrace covered toes. Fall is cheerful and welcoming.

This weekend had the feel of fall, and we embraced it. Tonight while our girls played and were well loved at a fall harvest, adam and I snuck away for an hour bike ride. The colors are already starting to change. God’s master pieces in creation seem to take on another appeal as the colors change and the sun begins to set. I love it. He has made such amazing, beauty in the world around us. It’s an honor to know that He had us in mind when He created this place for us. I am in awe. Weekends are too short, and pass by too quickly!

Thank you Lord for the beauty around, and the freedom from the hospital to enjoy it!


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (Psalm 19:1-6 ESV)


15 Sep




Fall like weather is so refreshing. I get so much joy on a Saturday morning when the sun is shinning and a beautiful day is on the horizon! A cup of coffee is highly anticipated and welcomed when the air is crisp. Saturday’s are welcome here.

Today was my first day as a soccer mom. I am not sure I am fit for the title. Now let me first tell you this is micro league 3v3. The kids are 3 and 4 years old. Nothing too serious right? Well this mom had a hard time handling watching her kid not know what to do. I felt helpless standing by and watching my daughter get stomped, again reminder this is 3v3. Mom chill out. The best was I wanted to just go out and fix it for her, kick the ball in the right direction, stop the red head who kept scoring on my helpless kid. I must take my blood pressure meds earlier in the day to prepare for this. Actually, by the second half, Hayleigh pulled it together and figured out there is nothing wrong with taking the ball and scoring. Defense on the other hand I am not sure we have that concept. Hopefully next week she and I will both have more fun, since I did remind her that is why we play, for fun!

Daddy had the joy of taking the older girls to the Akron U football game, while mollie and I napped. It was a beautiful fall day. So thankful to be home.

Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever
and never see the pit.
But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me. Selah (Psalm 49:7-9, 15 ESV)

Cultures, swab and xray

14 Sep

In the “normal”, healthy world a temperature of 100.6 means very little. But in the world of a post BMT patient it is a guaranteed double poke and the start of investigation 101. Last night I felt like I might have a temp, but everything in me didn’t want to know. Reality settles in and i embraced that the truth is better than the unknown. Thankfully, the fever has not returned. I have had a nasty head cold this week that lingers. I hope the weekend and all the drugs I must take send it on its way.

I followed the rules and called the clinic to report my low grade fever. We took an unplanned trip to the all too familiar Taussig cancer center. We remembered when the building was unfamiliar territory, now much too comfortable. We know a lot of people by name, and I am now a familiar face. Its odd to remember when this world was new. Today they took chest X-rays to rule out pneumonia, blood cultures to look for infection in blood stream ( which is a double poke), and a nose swab to rule out possible viruses. Which is a little twig they use to scrape a piece of your brain with, or at least that is how it feels. Thankfully I am home tonight. My kids were well cared for, dinner was provided and snuggles abounded. Hopeful this is a recipe for another fever free day!

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (Exodus 20:2 ESV)

It might not have been slavery in Egypt, but God has led me through quite a lot of things I needed rescued from.

My Man

12 Sep

You all read my husbands loving thoughts and words to me as we have journeyed this undesired road, yet I realize many don’t hear or know my heart towards him. This road has been hard and one that I believe most husbands would request a pass card, if available. Adam has chosen from day one to be actively encouraging and engaged in this journey. I look back and realize six months has passed. Six long months of a lot of filling in and stepping up.

As we prepare to be a part of a wedding, we recall those vows for better or for worse. He has been the better during the worse. His roles as husband and dad we’re and are a lot to fill these past six months. When I tell you my girls have lived through this summer and seem unphased it is because of his hard work and long days, along with Gods grace! He would come love me and be with me, and then finish his day loving and caring for the other girls in his life. Now that I have been home almost two months he continues to step up on many levels. He continues to be the strength of our family. He plays well with our girls. He loves strongly and passionately and takes time to really know them, and of course me. This new phase is different for us. Our time together is less because I sleep more and that cuts into “us” time. There are no complaints from my man. I miss the spunk and the “us” prior to this, but I pray the changed, more challenged us would continue to grow deeper together even through some of this worse.

Ultimately, gratitude pours from me and longs for him to know I am thankful, proud and blessed to be journeying with him. May we love and challenge each other as we desire to bring Him honor in and through our family and in our days together. We are making it babe, one day at a time. Thank you for being my constant backup, and right hand man, I need you and I love you!

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV)

Picnics & post dinner walks

11 Sep

Glorious is the word that the sun reflects and resembles to me these past few days! For those who work indoors, take a minute in your busy day and enjoy these days God has given. Today felt like a picnic day. We packed up lunch headed out for a walk with a sweet ending at the park and picnic lunch. Who knew peanut butter & jelly could be so fun?! Hayleigh said, ” mom this is fun, what a good idea!” as we talked we recalled this summer wasn’t full of picnics like usual. This was our first! All were thankful!

Post dinner walks have always been a highlight. Never as romantic as it sounds, but always action packed. Tonight we walked with three girlies and three babies. Each one taking care of their baby. We had one minor injury, a lot of pit stops and some fun! It’s fun to see how over time these walks change. No longer do we have the noisy, rickety wagon! I love being home and embracing these moments, tired or not!





And she taps

10 Sep

I have had hand-me-down tap shoes hidden for years. I hoped never to unveil them, but today they have been tapped. I totally blame the Springers for this adventure as my children are followers. Gracie taps, so now we tap! It’s fun to see your child smile and enjoy life with friends. Hayleigh is social by nature. Many ask if she likes school, yes, she loves it and wants to go every day.

At dinner she was thrilled to tell and show us all how she tapped. “But mom my tap shoe did fall off while I was tapping.” This is important. Doing life’s with friends and watching as four little girls enjoy activity together reminds me to pray for these girls friends. I look around me and see how generous God has been to me through the gift of friendships. I am blessed and pray that for my girlies going forward.

To tapping!