Happy Easter Sunday to you! This truly is one of my favorite times of the year. I love being able to rejoice in the resurrection of my Savior and Redeemer. I hope this Easter Sunday finds you in a place of reflection as you ponder the Lord, Jesus Christ, and all that He has done for you. I hope you may also feel of His great love for you.
I will keep this post short and sweet today and just leave you with my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I know that He lives.
Savior, Redeemer of My Soul
The Date: August 19, 2011
A date forever etched into my memory. It was on that date that I stood by my car, holding my cell phone in my hand, and hearing the doctor say, "I'm very sorry to tell you this, but there were some cancer cells that showed up."
As those words were spoken, time seemed to stand still and I entered an alternate universe. It was a place that I never dreamed I would be. Cancer happens to other people, right? I was only 33 years old with no family history. How could I possibly now wear the badge of "breast cancer patient."
But sadly, I did have to wear that badge and continue to wear it today. Although the words have shifted from "patient" to "survivor", I still feel the weight of it on my heart. My soul weeps whenever I hear of someone else who is given this badge to wear, and it is because so many badges are still being handed out, that I continue to write and talk about my experience. If I can help even only one person on their journey, then it will all be worth it. My hope is to help many, but I am only one person and will try to do the best that I can.
When I think back on that time in my life, there are three things that I know now that I wish I knew back then.
1. You are not going to die immediately, or the next day, or even the day after that. There is time to breathe and think and process the information. So my advice for step number one is...continue to breathe. One breath at a time. In and out.
I am so excited for this post.
=) =) =)
Can you tell by my three smiley faces?
I have been pondering this blog series for a while now and I am happy to say that today is the day for it to begin. It is not going to be a weekly post (yet), but I am hopeful that it will turn into that. But that doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that this little adventure is going to be awesome, amazing, inspirational, and well, those three words sum it up perfectly.
This series will be unlike any of the other blog series that I have done because it will be written entirely by guest bloggers. Yay! Amazing, wonderful, incredible people who have done hard things and are continuing to do hard things in their lives.
Again, I am SO excited about this and don't want to wait any longer. So without further adieu, let me introduce Sara Isom.
Sara is my sister's sister-in-law and she is an incredible person who can do really hard things. I am excited for her to share some of her thoughts with you today.
I know it was really hard for Sara to condense her experiences into 500 words or less and her story is so much more than this little post will be able to share with you. So please, check out her full story on her blog, Carrying An Angel.
(Just FYI, make sure you have some tissues handy when you do...)
I Can Do Hard Things- Sara Isom
I had a friend once tell me that after you lose a child, it's hard to relate to anyone who says they have had a bad day. It's like you can't relate to life on any sort of normal any more. I've had some pretty awesome "bad days" since my son died. Days that sincerely left me wanting to curl up in a ball under my bed and never, ever come out.
Still, those days didn't compare to the day I held the body of my son--lifeless and cold. His sudden birth and death, forced our family to the mercy of others. Things such as child care, comfort, and overall friendship were desperately needed.
It was a terrible, no good, very bad day.
So when we moved to Texas, not knowing a soul, with my husband leaving 10 days later for a week long training to prepare for deployment---I thought, "I got this."
I've heard that everything goes wrong when a spouse deploys. I didn't expect it to happen when he was just gone for a week. I'm two days in and BAM: I broke the sprinkler system on our rental by running over one of the heads, I had a nest of huge spiders on my front porch trying to invade my house (I am panic attack level afraid of spiders), my daughter flushed a huge wad of toilet paper down the toilet and clogged it and then tried to flush it 5 times, and I still have mounds of boxes to unpack.
God knew I could handle it.
Or at least he knew that with the help of the league of Angels, both seen and unseen, He would help me handle it.
And there you have it. Sara Isom, another member of the "I Can Do Hard Things" club.
Tackling hard things one moment and one day at a time.
Have I mentioned that this guest blogger series is going to be amazing? :)
Just Be Held- Casting Crowns
Today's post is going to be a recycled one. Recycling is good, right? I think it is and as I have looked back on the posts that I wrote for the Survivorship Wellness site a couple of year ago, I realized that I shared some good information there regarding survivorship. And good information is worth sharing multiple times. Plus, we have had the cruddy gunk floating around our house and I haven't had the chance to come up with something new for today's post. So, I am taking the easy route today. :)
As a cancer survivor, it seems like there are a few questions that I get asked over and over again. The top two are,
“How are you feeling?” and
“I have a (friend, sister, aunt, cousin, etc) who was just diagnosed.
What can I do to help?”
I would like to focus this post on how I typically answer that second question. My first thought is always, “I have no idea.” Even though I endured the disease and a gamut of treatments, I am always at a loss for words when someone asks me what they can do to help someone in the throes of the disease. Cancer is so completely different from one person to the next. It is hard to have a standard answer for a magic fix-all regimen.
I have put a lot of thought into this dilemma because for the rest of my life, I will probably have people come to me in their hour of need. They desperately want to help their loved one face the battle and need to hear words of advice from one who has walked the difficult path.
There is only one thing that will always work and will never fail.
The Beatles had it right.
All You Need is Love.
Love is the one constant that sustained me on my darkest days.
I was fortunate enough to be surrounded in a bubble of love throughout my entire journey. I would not have made it through to be the person I am today without it. The great thing about love is that there are so many ways to express it.
The list goes on and on.
This list also does not just apply to someone who is battling cancer.
Everyone needs love.
Even those people who you think are so strong that they can endure anything that comes their way.
We all just need love.
(This post was originally posted on Survivorship Wellness on 2/9/2015)
I need thee to calm my troubled heart and mind.
I need thee to help me be kind when I just want to say something unkind.
I need thee to help me be patient in all areas of my life.
I need thee to overcome feelings of discouragement and sorrow.
And the list could literally go on for days.
I need my Savior, every waking moment of every single day.
Without him, I could not function properly.
He will always be my rock, my guiding star, and my light in the darkness.
by: Tonja Bell
I encourage you to get a mammogram if you are over 40. If there is a history of breast cancer in your family, be smart. Don't wait. Pretending that it is not there or that it is a possibility is not a great choice to make.
If you have a suspicious mammogram, take some deep breaths. Try not to panic. (I know it is easier said than done.) But I am telling you from experience: panic, fear, and worry only make the situation worse. Focus on the facts, the things that you know, and take things one step at a time.
When I announced my birthday week sale last week, I mentioned that there would be a contest in the near future and here it is! There are 3 simple steps to follow in order to be entered into the drawing for a $25 gift card. If you win, you can choose which gift card you would like...Amazon or Target. Are you ready? Here are the instructions...
1. You have to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or like my Facebook page. If you do all three, you get a second entry in the drawing.
That's it! Super simple! The contest will run until March 22 so if you have not read the book yet, there is still some time. Click on my store page to order a print copy or go to Amazon for the eBook.
How to leave a review on Amazon.com
Click here to go to my book on Amazon's page. It should look like this. (In order to leave a review, you will have to have an Amazon account.)
Scroll down until you see the "Customer Reviews" section and click where it says "WRITE A CUSTOMER REVIEW." That will take you to this screen.
Just choose your rating and then a review box will pop up and you can leave your review!
How to leave a review on Goodreads
Click here to go to my book on Goodreads. It will look like this. (In order to leave a review, you will have to have a Goodreads account.)
After you click where it says "ADD A REVIEW", it will take you to this page.
Just fill out the boxes, click save, and you will be good to go!
Happy Reading and Good Luck!!
Since this is Abbie's favorite song, I wanted to give her the opportunity to share what it means to her.
"I love this song because just hearing the words helps me to calm down. Like when I hear that 'he loves me', that helps me to know that He did it all for me. I also like her voice. It is really pretty.'
It is true that this song calms her down. Abbie has always had a fiercely independent spirit, which has proven to be both good and and not so good. We know that God has blessed her with this independence and passion for some wise purposes. My job, as her mother, is not to squelch this independence, but to help her learn how God speaks to her through the Holy Ghost. If she can learn, know, and understand how God communicates with her, then she will be more fully able to understand what God needs her to do with this passion and independence that she has.
I know that this song is one of the ways that Heavenly Father has communicated with her and helped her to feel of the great love that He has for her.
Maybe it will do the same for you. :)
Gethsemane (words and music by Roger & Melanie Hoffman)
Jesus climbed the hill
I had such a wonderful time at my second book signing event in my hometown of Leeds, UT! Thank you to everyone who came! It was fun to catch up with friends and family. We did a lot of laughing and ate a lot of homemade cookies. (Thanks to my wonderful mom for baking all of them!)
A very big THANK YOU goes to my brother, Dan Fowlks, for taking pictures and video at this event. He also put together an incredible trailer to advertise my book. If you haven't seen it or shared it yet, please take a look!
Again, I just want to thank everyone who came to the book signing. I had such a nice time visiting with you and I hope you enjoyed your time there as well.
I am loving my second chance at life.
What's Happening on
Copyright Desirae Ogden, www.desiraeogden.com, 2015.
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