Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Words of Life from an Ovarian Cancer Survivor

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  This type of cancer is especially close to my heart since it is the type of cancer my mom had. She generously agreed to write this blog in the hopes of bringing encouragement to you all.  I wanted to giveaway something special this month to show my love and support for those affected by ovarian cancer. After reading please see the end of the blog to enter our special giveaway. And now here’s my mom…

3 months into chemo

3 months into chemo

I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in June 2012. Besides being shocked, because I had felt fine until a few weeks earlier, I felt that I just wasn’t a strong enough person to go through what I knew was ahead. My mother had passed away just 3 years earlier from uterine cancer and I knew some of what she went through.

I had seen God’s faithfulness many times before and knew he would be with me every step of the way on this cancer journey. His word had always been precious to me, but it became something that would truly be a lifeline. From the beginning and still today the following verses have given me courage. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. “(Philip. 4:13) “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor.12: 9-10)

God’s word encourages us, and gives us peace. 3 months into chemo As I laid in intensive care after surgery, still groggy from the drugs, barely able to talk or move, my sweet daughter Danielle read soothing words from the Psalms that calmed my spirit. When I got home from the hospital my dear friend Dianne, along with bringing meals, brought me a blue notebook that I treasure to this day. In it she wrote out bible verses and inserted my name in each of them. I poured over those scriptures daily. Along with my strong husband, the blue notebook became a faithful companion during my chemo sessions.

Words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 says that Death and life are in the power of the tongue. God’s word brings life, but I would come to realize that negative words have power too. During my recovery, a well-meaning friend who had also had ovarian cancer called and relayed one negative thing after another that happened to her during her cancer journey. When I hung up the phone I felt terrible! I felt bad for her, but I also started feeling terrible inside. I knew right then that I could not let that negativity get into my spirit! I needed to shift my thinking and as Philippians 4:8 instructs us: think on the things that are pure, lovely and a good report. 

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1 year after surgery

There are many ways to get God’s living word in your life; words that will encourage, bring peace and give life. Everyday open up the bible and read His precious promises. You may even want to start your own blue notebook. Bible Gateway is a great place to search for scriptures on whatever you need. There are many great devotionals out there too. A few that really spoke to me through the cancer journey were Jesus Calling and Jesus Today by Sarah Young and Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts Devotional. This month I am celebrating 3 years with NED – No Evidence of Disease- healed, as I like to say! I am so grateful to God and am thankful each day for life. If you are walking through cancer right now I invite you to visit my blog site at http://gracerediscovered.blogspot.com/

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3 years with NED!

And remember no matter what you’re going through, let God’s word fill you. His words bring life. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Psalm 107:20

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Enter our giveaway HERE

How knitting saved my life

Okay so maybe that’s a little extreme – but I used to be an actor so I like the added drama. This was the situation – my husband had just lost his job, my mom had just been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer, we had a 2 year old – and I didn’t know what the heck to do.

My mom lives 4 hours from me so I felt helpless. I couldn’t go there everyday to help and I didn’t know if she was going to make it through the chemo. I had just seen my Grandma lose her battle with uterine cancer and I couldn’t bare the thought of losing the other the woman in my life who I held so dear.

My mom, me, and my daughter after her first chemo treatment

My mom, me, and my daughter after her first chemo treatment

We needed money. My husband had been working as a professional actor for a decade and now there was no contract to be seen. Despite the financial woes all I could think was  – I have to help my mom – I have to help all the people who are going through chemo – I have to do something – and I have no money to work with (don’t worry it gets better).

A shop had just moved in down the road called Sweet Charity (which is now Fresh Vintage by Amy if you want to check it out). They sold artisan made products that were dedicated to giving back. Immediately, I knew what to do. I walked down to the shop with 5 handmade hats and a mission to donate one free hat per five sold to Nemours Children’s Hospital. The owners graciously excepted my work (which is a far cry from what I offer today) into the shop and the rest is – as they say – history.

One of the first hats I ever sold

The first hat I ever sold on Etsy

The first five hats I took down to Sweet Charity - oh how far we have come!

The first five hats I took down to Sweet Charity – oh how far we have come!

The demand for product got bigger so I started to sell on Etsy. The need for donation hats that could be shipped straight to patients became apparent so I coded my own website that would allow that.

All of a sudden I needed to hire staff, order in bulk, turn my cat closet into a knitting studio, and knit round the clock. God had turned what I had seen as curse into a blessing. I had all the money I needed to completely fund the charity thanks to my wonderful Etsy customers and I had enough left over to help pay the bills.

My knitting studio

My knitting studio

Now for the important part – my mom is healed! After extensive surgery and two years of chemo she is alive – beautiful – and healthy! Praise the Lord! As for me I must also praise the Lord. I am able to stay at home with our daughter while running a legitimate business.  A business that I would have never thought of had difficulty not struck our lives.

Me and my mom a few months ago

Me and my mom a few months ago – in matching hand knit cowls of course

So be encouraged my friends. Someone high above and mighty is looking out for you. He loves you. He cares about you. And he will provide for you.

Work hard. Pray hard. He will show you the way.

Some of our popular current designs

Some of our popular current designs