Thursday, June 25, 2009
Just wanted to let you know that we have not forgotten about you! We are headed off to go camping for a bit before my next phase of treatments and will update you on some awesome news we received at the hospital this week when we return this weekend!
In the meantime check out http://www.airdrieecho.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1627988 an article that featured Christa and I.
Have a good week!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This is a question that I pondered for quite some time when I had my first battle with cancer in 2002 - 2005. What did I ever do to deserve cancer? Was it a curse on my life? Did I do something that cancer was the tool in order to teach me a lesson and put me back on track? Did I still matter to people and society? Would I ever be an asset? Could I be used? Would my opinions and thoughts matter? Will I be successful?
I brutalized myself when the answer was so clear and it was directly in front of me. I worked day and night to keep up with my school work, I had a summer jobs, I did two grades in one year in order to graduate with my friends, I played on a youth band as well as the high school band which was one of the best in Alberta and even had the opportunity to go down to California and play at Disneyland and record with Warner Bro's (for fun) to Pirate's of the Caribbean (though I didn't go because of treatments), I was counselor at a summer camp for several summers, and I accepted speaking engagements whenever they came my way...I did all of this while going through chemo and radiation.
Did I do because I was searching for an answer - was I insecure that life might be swept from underneath me if I didn't cling to it? Was I trying to cover up my illness and focus on other things? I don't think so. I remember always going, going, going. My illness never kept me down and held me back from life and doing the things I loved to do. I discovered a passion and a desire to live life and live it to it's fullest. I had a passion and desire to serve and be a tool to any event, function, project, or mission...I discovered that even though challenges come my way and I have my ups and downs in life (like we all do), I discovered that those things do not interfere with my purpose and my destination as long as I do not let them because I know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Therefore I am valuable and so are you.
I often use this illustration when I speak to a group about being the change and knowing that you have whatever it takes to do whatever your heart desires and dreams of. Here it is:
If you were walking the streets of your city and you found a 5 dollar bill on the ground, would you pick it up? Yes. Why? Because it's 5 bucks. It has a value. You can buy things with it. If you were walking down the same street and you came across that same 5 dollar bill on the ground but this time it was stomped on and a little dirty, would you pick it up? Yes, because it still has value and after a little brushing off of the dirt and making it look decent it is still 5 bucks and it still has value and can still be used. That same street, your walking down and you find that same 5 dollar bill. This time it is stepped on, dirty, wrinkled and ripped; would you still pick it up? Yes! Because you put it in your pocket, take it home, brush off the dirt, flatten the bill, tape it back together where it's been ripped and it can still be used. It still has value to it and it can still be used.
The same is true for our lives. Life isn't always fair. We are dealt with disease, poverty, being fired from a job, a loved one turning on us, wars, and race turning against race. If you step back and take a look at our world - you can sometimes just shake your head at the things people are going through and you can ask why is this happening...OR...you can choose to rise up against it and be the change, knowing that you have VALUE. You've been stepped on, spit on, your full of dirt, and you've been ripped in so many places. But the truth is suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Therefore, over time if you allow yourself, you will be brushed off, cleaned up, flattened, and mended back together. Nothing can interfere with your purpose and your destination if you don't allow it. I have value, you have value, we have value and we can achieve great things and be the change!
Yesterday afternoon Christa and I had an interview with a newspaper and the reporter asked how do I go from a state of being mad, hearing the prognosis that my cancer had come back, thinking I am going to die, to a state of mind with a positive energy, a passion to fight with all that I have, knowing that I am going to be okay, and not allowing this to get the best of myself.
My answer was very simple and the reporter seemed in awe that this is actually possible. The first time I went through cancer I was only 14 - so you can imagine the shock and the fear that I was experiencing at that time in my life. Not having a clue about cancer, the treatments, the pain, or anything I was about to undergo I immediately thought I was going to die. I had a death sentence and I felt like it didn't matter what I did it wouldn't change my outcome.
You never really have time to accept that type of news...things just happen so fast and all of a sudden your thrown into the ride of your life of a roller coaster and you have no clue what to expect. You haven't had the chance to stand on the ground and observer this thing. You don't know where the loops and twists and turns are, you don't know if the bolts are securely fastened - you don't know anything. It's just buckle up and here we go! But over time as I became comfortable and understanding of my situation there were times when my attitude was running on high and I was full of fighting power. During those times...my treatments were successful. Side effects were minimal, my counts started to come back up, my appetite came around, my energy increased, and my overall emotional and mental strength rose higher. But during the times that I was discouraged and focused on my situation and allowed my mind to be filled with feelings and fear and anxiety - those were the times the treatments weren't doing what they were supposed to do, the times I was hospitalized with infections and my counts dropping to a severely low level and my mind had no drive to fight. I was done.
This time around - because I have been through cancer before I knew what to expect but I also knew that my attitude would be a large percentage of my battle. And say it's just coincidence or just how things happen - but this time around I have seen those patients who have a terrible attitude and are allowing their illness to get the best of them and they are struggling. They are having a hell of a ride and they are filled with fear, anxiety, worry, and depression. And I have seen the patients who have a strong attitude and a desire to beat this thing out of their world. Like the lady who walks around the unit all day every day choosing not to lie in bed all day and soak in her disease. Or the guy who walks on the treadmill with his IV hooked up to him, or the other guy who is bald and has chemo pumping through his system but still works out and maintains a fit body and chooses to bring his meals to the common area and eats in front of the TV rather then staying in his room all by himself and being lonely. Those are the ones who are having a walk in the park with this and have chosen to take an obstacle in their life and say - BRING IT ON! It is evident that our attitude plays a vital role in the challenges that we face in life - not just cancer or disease, but in any obstacle or challenge that comes our way.
Before I wrap up today's journal I must acknowledge the continued support and encouraging energies that are being sent our way. We are so blessed and grateful for those who have stood up behind us and are cheering us on running with us to the finish line. We have continued to receive countless emails from people across this country and have even learnt that people are dedicating their Canadian Cancer Relay For Life event in honor of Christa and I and one person is also doing the Bike Ride to Conquer Cancer in support of us as well!
We are so grateful for the support and look forward to participating in some of those events in the following years!
Take care friends!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
At the end of the day, when my back hurts from lugging around that vacuum cleaner, and sweeping up the crumbs, I look over at my husband and grin. This is it. This is married life. We are here, and we are enjoying it. There is an awesome speaker I listen to named Joyce Myer, and many times throughout the day I can hear her in my head. “Maybe you don’t need to wash the floor today, maybe you need to put the wife duties away for a minute and spend time with the one you love, or just go relax for a few!” All of us need to relax, enjoy the toothpaste spit and soak up each moment we have with our families.
As Tim said in his blog, his stem cell collection was in every way a miracle. Sitting beside him as his blood pumped into the machine was the most incredible thing I’ve seen. The blood in those tubes allows him to breath, fight infection, laugh, run, smile, cry, and live. All I saw was purity, newness and a fresh beginning. As they freeze those stem cells, I know without a doubt that when they are infused back into him, his body will once again start fresh, and all because of the prayers of hundreds of people and a God power flowing through Tim.
It’s funny how negativity can try its best to creep in. It tries, but it always fails. Tim is always telling the nurses, “nope, that won’t be me that experiences that side effect...” and he doesn’t.
Tim, you have taught me how to apply that principle to every area of life. Example; I’ve just begun upgrading for nursing in the new year, and I am not a strong math person. Just looking at the cover of the text book is daunting. What if I fail math? What if I can’t go on to nursing? And then I remember a moment at the hospital as the nurse looked at Tim as she was infusing his last bag of chemo... “When you stand up you may feel dizzy, and some people have an allergic reaction, if you notice hives, shortness of breath or anything different, call me right away.” Tim fires back.. “That won’t be me!” The nurse laughed and said “Good!” and his treatment continued that day with no complications. This is the weapon he fights and wins with every day.
Don’t get me wrong, you can’t walk around life expecting everything to be perfect, you cannot expect that when you slice your hand along a fresh piece of printer paper that you won’t get a paper cut, because you will, and if you don’t you need to lay off the yard work, but instead of living life focused on the “what if’s” and “maybe’s” fix your eyes on the one who is greater than all of this earthly business. He is our answer each day, and Tim and I know that each step of this battle has been made perfect by HIM! We can’t do this on our own, nor do we want to, this is a three person team.
Tim’s amazing perseverance pushes me past my own limitations. Tim will conquer cancer again, and his attitude and strength within will carry him through. If the patients at the Tom Baker can fight with everything they have, and Tim can call this battle done, anybody can accomplish anything they fight for. Tim has dreams, and so do I. We will do whatever we must to get there!
The next two weeks together will be amazing, and the weeks following them will be even better.
Because it is a choice, an attitude, and a faith that cannot be broken. We will win!
Christa surprised me and brought cake to the hospital and also threw a big bash for me once we got home!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
In my last few blogs I have talked about this strength that we must search deep within ourselves, grab it and pull it out. How we must find that passion and desire within us and allow it to rise up against obstacles and challenges that come our way. Finding peace in the midst of storms. Building perseverance when all hell breaks loose. And CHOOSING to fight with all that we have.
As challenging as a few days were (mentally), it has paid off. Yesterday was like passing the biggest test I've ever had to complete in my whole life. When that stem cell machine beeped marking the end of the collection process this massive wave of peace and a big breath of fresh air filled my lungs. It's almost as if this whole time I've been fighting, fighting, fighting and just kept fighting with all that I have and just when I felt like taking a break and just pausing for a second the horn went. The battle was over! We conquered it. We beat it! Yesterday was filled with so many emotions. Excitement, tears of joy, feelings of strength and courage, a peace.
So here is a recap of how everything has gone this past week:
Why was I even admitted to hospital anyway this week? I felt great! I was eating lots, doing a relatively good job at maintaining my body weight. Haven't been sick...so why the heck am I hear. I get these day passes and then have to come back at 9PM to sleep in some bed that I feel 10feet high in and then wake up and come home. I'm not hooked up to anything except for 30mins at 11PM, 5PM and noon. Knowing not to go against my doctor's knowledge (unlike Mr know-it-all who thought I had shingles...pff) I thought I better dare not question her doings. But finally, I had enough. This was becoming challenging on Christa and I since it's our second week of marriage and I feel great. I want to be home with her. I don't even know why I am in hospital, and I'm starting to get pretty bored...Oprah and Dr. Phil can only do the trick for so long...and even then I feel like they are my best friends at this point for I know them now oh so well thank God for television, friendships are enhanced to even greater levels. Updating my facebook status and checking updates only becomes exciting once and then die's off pretty quickly...and those scuff marks I was talking about on the hallway floors...they will always be there.
So getting back to my story, I said to the doctor - Listen, I don't want to mess anything up and I know I am here for a reason, but can you explain to me what's going on. I want to go home. Turns out I'm neutropenic (no immune system) so I had to stay there on antibiotics just as a precaution so that I didn't get any infections or viruses, after all I've come so far and was on schedule with everything with NO side effects or any symptoms...so why screw anything up.
However, even though I haven't had any side effects from the treatments you have no clue how much opposition has come our way pressed on every single side that the enemy is using to try and get me off track. He knows I've been through this before, cycled across Canada, spoken to thousands if not million's through media and speaking engagements and am now battling cancer again. The enemy knows that I am out to make an impact and will do whatever it takes to get in my way and interfere with my 'I Must'. But I tell you, nothing will shake my grounds! I am built on a strong foundation. I am not built on sinking sands. My feet do not waver. My eyes are focused. My autopilot is set. Fear does not consume me. Worry does not come upon me. When doctor's and/or nurses told me that I would not be ready for collection and that I probably wouldn't have enough cells and would have to do the test over two days. When I was told I would be in the hospital for at least 3 weeks. When I was told I would have 6 - 8 months left to live...I sat there in that doctors room, hospital bed or where ever I was and CHOSE to accept the facts but rose up and said NO! NOT ME! I am different. There is something different in me! Watch me. Get out your history books docs, because I am in there. Statistics...pff...who are they?
Sunday night Christa took me back to the hospital and we both walked into that hospital prepared and ready for battle because we knew that the next day would require some armor and lots of battling gear. The nurse came in and said - so doesn't look like we are going through with the collection tomorrow...your counts just aren't coming up fast enough. This is when I felt like saying Lady...I'm not normal. We know that. Doctor's always tell me they can't figure me out. I'm crazy. I just baffle their minds. I am not normal. But instead I choose to just lie there in my bed and put everything up to the big guy who is in charge.
At the last minute the doctor decides to up my G shots and see if they can help my body a bit. What do ya know? 8AM Monday morning...my doctor walks in and says Tim - Your ready! The team is waiting for you...let's go.
People I am telling you no word of a lie...yes I had a little help with some medications but these doctors do stem cells transplants every week. Tom Baker performs over 70 stem cell transplant a year. They are experts. When they say your not a go and things aren't coming along fast enough (there coming along...just not quick enough...this is still good news...it's not bad) they are usually if not always right at predicting and saying your not ready, the test isn't happening yet. There are people who are still on the ward and have been waiting for 45 days for their stem cell to happen and their body is still waiting!
I went down for collection - they hooked me up to the machine which was supposed to take 8 hours and possibly 2 days. The nurse who did my collection said she has been doing this for a long time - and she said the color of my cells looked amazing. They looked strong and healthy. They needed 365 million cells and within 2 hours they had over and beyond what they needed! I was unhooked and on my way home.
Not only was it my birthday yesterday but it was the day to mark the beginning of a new life. Stem Cells is what feeds our body. Life flows in our cells. Seeing my life flow out of my body and into a machine which then flow into a bag and is frozen for weeks and matured before given back to me - is so powerful. To express how I felt seeing my life flow through lines and through all these pumps and machines and dials and to know that they are clean. They are being restored. No cancer flows in those cells. It will come back to me free of cancer, free of disease, free of any defects or illnesses and come back into my body and give me life once again - would be like trying to explain outer space and our solar system. It's so complicated but yet such a connecting emotional experience.
I am home now well and alive! I had an amazing birthday dinner cooked by my one and only Christa Harriman followed by friends and family for cake and time together with laughter and joy!
The next few weeks will be spent camping it up and enjoying the outdoors, living life and soaking it up, and will probably include the first writings of our first book together which we hope to see on shelves in the near future!
We received an email the other day from City of Airdrie who was hoping to stop by and visit us and deliver a bulk order of magazines to us but the lady told us that since they published the story, the emails and phone calls have not stopped about our story.
It is our hope that our story brings a message of hope. That it can counsel those who are going through some horrific or to someone who is yet to experience something tragic in their life. We all have things that come our way. Life doesn't always deal the cards we were hoping or expecting but we must choose to play wisely because how we play this hand can really determine the next hand and how we will play that one.
Stay strong, press on, and keep on keepin on!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Me controllin the wheel for a change.
Welcome to my office. This is where it all happens.
Friday, June 12, 2009
....Sorry bout that ;) I don't even know what I'm singing. Going a little crazy here in this place. Just Kidding ;)
Alright, another long story to tell but this one is funny. Who da man?
The very first day when I had my central line put in I told the surgeon I was allergic to a certain dressing (the bandage that goes over IV sites)and said that I would break out. For at least 24hrs I had to wear the kind of dressing that I would react to but after I could change it to the one that works for me. I said to Christa, "Watch, literally within a day I will break out with spots all over my chest, you watch."
My gosh boy ol' golly (add a little southern farmer tone in there) what happens? Within a day, I look like a leopard. Next thing I know infectious disease is in my room, doctors and nurses are standing around my bed dressed from head to toe in gowns, masks, and gloves up to their arm pits wondering what's wrong with me!
(These are my thoughts. I would not be as stupid to express them verbally at the time.) Excusing me...can you not see I'm watching TV...your interrupting a very important moment in my life. And then one dude, who looks like he's part of house cleaning who is not wearing any identification that I can see of tells me I have shingles! Shingles! Are you crazy! Do you even know what the definition of shingles is? Shingles...pff...cry me a river and I'll build ya boat.
So anyways, enough with all the craziness. After they all they leave, one of my nurses comes in the room and I ask her - who was that dude? She kind of gives me the look with the impression like 'I know what you mean'. Apparently he was the Nurse in Charge for that day. I thought to myself - Nurse in charge...okay...listen here Eddy Stelmach or whoever is in charge up there in the big E city. I know were desperate for nurses and very short but I mean where are we getting them from. For all I know this guy walked in the back door down at the kitchen, clocked junior in the head, threw him in the dumpster, put on his uniform but of course forgot the dudes ID card and walks around from unit to unit calling all these crazy shots.
Oh and that's not the end of it. The TV girl comes to renew our TV for the day all while Mr. Know-it-all and his 'peeps' are hanging outside of my room 'brainstorming' what to do with me. The lady says how long would you like to renew your TV for? Ah..1 day should be good. All of a sudden buddy interrupts Christa and says oh, you'll need it for more than a day. He's not getting out of here until end of next week for sure. He's neutropenic (which means I have no Immune System...and that's true)...but then he goes off to say I am infection disease, I'm not going to be ready for collection on Monday and just runs down the list of all these crazy things. Alright Captain, thanks for coming out but we'll let the doctor be the judge of this one.
A little while later: Low and behold, who walks in? Doctor. Hi Tim! How are you doing? Great! Want to go home for the day? Oh sure! I would love that!
Ha! Take that Captain! Guess ya failed that one. And, oh. where have the spots gone? Gee I don't know. Maybe there disappearing because I said I am allergic which means my skin doesn't like that type of dressing. Shingles. Pff. *Shaking my head*
So. Like I said, the doctor did give me a day pass yesterday with hopes that my counts will start to climb (which they have control over because they can just increase my dose in the G shots). Yesterday my doctor said they will review my chart again and if my counts are starting to climb then they don't see why I won't be allowed to go home again for a little while. And this morning when the nurse came in with my blood test results it showed that my White Blood Cells are starting to rise! That's what we want! Now we just need to get em a little higher so that my body will be ready for Stem Cell Collection on Monday. Then I have a few weeks off (might take up some camping with my beautiful wife)and we return for the first week of July to do the transplant and then guess what. I'm finito! And will be out of here by July 16!
To be honest with you, this whole process has not been what I expected at all. I haven't even felt the effects of chemo, I'm actually considering getting a hair cut cause it's getting a little out of control, and I've actually felt a lot healthier then I felt before. Most nights I have a great sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and charged for the day...
Just waiting for the doctor to make his rounds which will let me know if I can have another day pass or not. And from what I know, if my counts came up today (which they did) they might consider discharging me :)
Have a great weekend! It's been a blast as always!
The one and only Timmy H
PS. We will get some photo's up soon:)
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Yesterday was the first day that I started my G-CSF shots which will boost my stem cells and prepare me for mobilization - the stage before transplant. While here at the hospital (which was only supposed to be a quick little visit) turned into me being admitted because my White Blood Cells are too low (0.2) which literally means I have no first line of defence in fighting any viruses and infections that come my way. So even though I feel good I have to lay low in bed at the hospital for a few days until my counts come back up. With the G-CSF shots it shouldn't take long for my counts to come up since that is the purpose of the shots.
I was once asked if I was being a little over optimistic and if I really am feeling well or am I just saying that I feel well. Honestly, I feel really really good. I've had maybe one or two days that I've felt a little under the weather but it was actually because I was taking a medication every 6 hrs and I was only supposed to be taking it as needed, not every friggen day every 6 hours. So the docs changed my meds, reduced some stuff and within the next day or so I was back to eating and being my normal self. Even here in the hospital this time around the nurses sometimes pop in just to say a quick hello because we often joke around and just talk about non-sense. I'm not being proud, but I will definitely say that leading up to my initial admission to the hospital, Christa and I were bracing ourselves. But it's been great. Since we can't act like a normal couple and go out for dates nights and movies and just hang out and do the married thing we've actually had to re-discover our friendship and have quite enjoyed just hanging out all day and talking about anything and everything. Christa and I have had some of the most meaningful, thoughtful, and deepest conversations during this time. We have laughed together so hard that we've been kicking our legs crazy till the point we are crying. We have been very amused by the TV show Trailer Park Boys which is down right stupid stuff but to us, apparently it's hilarious! We've walked around this unit so many times that every day I've seen scuff marks come and go. We've watched movies together, played games, and at times even just hung out and not said a word to each other. Christa and I know that this experience is already building into our relationship and we are learning a great deal of things we may never have learnt if it weren't for this experience. When I am all through, our marriage will come out the other side stronger and deeper because of what we have walked through and faced together in our first few weeks of marriage.
Got a very cool story to share with you:
A couple of nights ago Christa and I prayed before we went to sleep that we would
just have a good sleep and that we would have dreams that we would receive a message or a very clear meaning. I'm not one to have dreams and if I do, I NEVER remember them.
Not only was it great to sleep pretty much the whole night (because the last few nights I've been up several times) but I had an incredible dream that is crazy.
Before I share the dream I must give you a little preview. Back in October of 2008 Christa and I were in Winnipeg for a conference and a guy by the name of Rick Godwin was speaking. And he was telling us that when catching the plane to come up to the conference the lady beside him made a few comments about what if the plane goes down. Rick said, Lady, if this plane is going down your in the best seat of this aircraft, right beside me, because everything is going to be fine because of the power that is in me. I have not finished living my life. My "I Must" and purpose is not yet completed...we're not going anywhere!
So, that brings me to my story:
In the middle of my sleep I had a dream that was the most clear, real, and descriptive dream I've ever had. I had a dream that Christa and I were travelling by plane. From the time we checked in to the time we got to the gate we were interrupted with distractions, people budging us in line, and then once we got to the gate we discovered we didn't even have our tickets...we had somebody else. Once we got that sorted out we barely made it to the gate only to find out that the plane had been over booked. A few people offered to stay behind and catch the next plane and Christa and I boarded and got our seats. It was a very small charter plane with about 30 passengers. (I'm telling you - I don't dream. This may seem silly but I felt like this was all actually happening.) As we begin to taxi towards the runway all of a sudden the pilot throws the plane into gear and we take off. As soon as the plane leaves the ground the plane does a fish tale and the pilot struggles back and forth to bring the plane under control. The whole time I have such a peace and am totally confident that even if this plane goes down...we're all gunna be fine. Eventually the pilot looses all control of the plane and we head for the ground. I instantly grabbed Christa's head and brought both our heads to our knees and cover our faces because I knew the thing was gunna blow up. The back of the plane and tail blew up in flames and all of a sudden we are barreling down a major freeway destroying anything in sight. Eventually the plane leaves the freeway into a residential area and takes out 5 houses before it comes to a complete stop. No one was injured. Everyone walked away injury free.
After I woke up and I told Christa the dream...she was just like, oh...that's crazy. But it wasn't until we were halfway down the deerfoot highway on our way to the hospital that I jump and tell Christa - I forgot the most important part...the point of the dream and the message behind it.
It doesn't matter what plane we are on or what our destination is (because all of our purposes are slightly different from each other. Even though planes might all look the same, there are different people on those planes with different stories and a different "I Must") and even though our plane might crash, nothing can get in the way of our purpose and "I Must" because of the power that is in us.
Even though my plane crashed (my cancer), my purpose and "I Must" isn't done. I have not finished living. I am not done here yet. I will get better. I am a cancer survivor! I am not a patient. My body is not consumed with cancer. It does not belong in me. It has no right in my body. I will go on to inspire many and do crazy, wild adventures...because my purpose isn't completed!
Last night Christa had a friend come visit her who is a nurse on the floor below me. She works on the palliative care ward where basically patients are coming in to die. They have no more medical options for them, doctor's can't do anything so they put them on these wards and the nurses give them medication to make them feel as comfortable as possible until their last breath. But the fascinating thing is: Christa's friend was saying they come in with such a good attitude and positive spirit proclaiming that they will get better and better each day and will walk out of this hospital with no disease and feeling well and alive. What's fascinating is that they often do walk out of this hospital and live well and alive for years to come! That right there is evidence of what a good attitude and the power in you can do.
Friends, whatever your going through...you decide your outcome. When I was on tour I spoke at a teens camp in PEI (the triumph video) and told them that we must be fighters. Through everything we must fight with all that we have. Losers are not an option. It is our choice how we will walk out the other side. Our attitudes are crucial. How we handle situations and trials and the attitude we have plays a big part in our outcome. We are the deciders of our progress. I have heard story after story of people who have been given up to die, and how people would come in and encourage them with words and tell them other stories of people who've had it worse and something inside of them rose up and they all of a sudden developed a keenness to fight and within sometimes days to weeks their body has slowly turned around and they've walked away completed well.
A famous speaker by the name of Willie George said it best when I was listening to him at that conference in Winnipeg. "Our minds start playing out with thoughts and if we don't discard the negative thoughts immediately eventually our thoughts go down a little elevator and stop on the floor called mouth. And what we let out of our mouth eventually keeps going down into our heart. Whats in our heart becomes who we are. How we talk, how we treat people, the things we do and the things that we believe. We must take control of those negative thoughts and get rid of them immediately. Not even giving them a second chance to become part of our DNA.
Put it this way. I am on the top floor at the hospital. I know below me are several floors and right below me is the palliative care ward. (Disregard the previous example about the palliative care ward because that was used to illustrate something else) If I take the elevator down to the main floor, walk out of this hospital, get in the car and go home, then I never know what was really on those other floors. I may know which wards are on that floor and I probably have a good idea of what happens there because of what I've heard...but if I've never seen it or never stepped foot on that floor, I don't have any mental pictures and thoughts or smells about that floor. However, if I choose to stop on the palliative care ward and walk around there, now I have those thoughts and pictures and smells in my mind and the only thing I can remember is dead people - completely negative. So I must choose to not even go there. I don't even allow myself to think about stopping on that floor.
It's the same thing with out thinking and out attitude. We choose where we will allow our minds to go and not to go. We choose what gets into our heart. WE MAKE THE CHOICE.
Friends, I don't try to sound all professional and act like I'm a psychologist or anything like that. I write the way that I write, I speak whats on my heart, and often when I speak I sometimes find myself speaking right to myself while speaking to others as well. But I ask you this: What are you doing about your situation? Are you becoming consumed and stressed with the simplest things in life? Are you surrounding yourself with negativity and negative people? Do you have people in your life who have similar goals and a similar purpose and can join each other as you pursue that? We are the DECIDERS! We have more power in us than we think we have. We just need to learn how to use it.
Until next time!
PS. While your at it, Christa and I were surprised when we discovered that we are on the front of AirdrieLife Magazine with an amazing story on page 61. Check out www.airdrielife.com to order your copy now!
Tell your friends about our blog, spread the news, and lets join together because together we are headed towards a great purpose!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Some things just don't matter anymore. Life isn't this rat race like we once thought, its not about being perfect or looking perfect, its not about living for other people, its not about aimless priorities... its about enjoying and soaking up each amazing moment...blessing other people, taking walks in the cool evening air, watching the wind blow through the trees and sitting out side munching on watermelon after dinner. Tim and I have discovered the beauty of life, our marriage, and each other.
We talked about it today, when this journey comes to a close at the end of July, we will no longer live as busy, stressed out people. Instead, we will limit our once long list of "priorities" and start to soak up this amazing beautiful world we have been given. We have each other, and we have a long life ahead to experience the amazing and the wonderful!
Guys, seriously, Tim has been doing SO well! Its AMAZING how God has just totally come through for Tim in huge ways. He is not experiencing all the "side effects" the doctors said he would, and he is feeling super great...even better than before his treatments began. I hear people talk about how awful this is for Tim and how they can't believe he has to face it again...and honestly, its true, Cancer sucks, but our eyes have been opened to how far the technology of treatment has advanced. Its not about locking a patient up and "hoping" they come through anymore, its about getting them in, getting them well and letting them go on and live their lives. We could not ask for a better experience, and through it all we're gonna come out totally victorious!!
Anyway, Tim is sitting here waiting for me to hurry up and finish so HE can have the computer...so demanding. ;) Just kidding babe. I love you!!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sorry for not having frequent updates lately. Being at home has been nice for a change. A time to relax, go for walks, watch movies, and enjoy life. The support that we have received is amazing. Emails, phone calls, and mail has poured in from all over the country from family and friends who are cheering us on - we are so grateful for your support and cheers.
On Friday after I was released from the hospital we swung by Innovative Fitness (my training sponsor when I was on tour) and picked up a few very unexpected gifts that mean so much to Christa and I. Innovative Fitness has kindly donated two 1 hour massages for Christa and I. One is a more cancer therapeutic treatment for myself and the other is a more relaxing and cleansing massage for Christa. On top of that, Rogers Mobility has kindly sponsored us an air card for my laptop so that we can receive Internet where ever we go, any time, for the remainder of my treatments - wow!
Before news even broke out about my diagnosis Innovative was on the move and putting together support for Christa and I. One of my past trainers Stan Peake (who cycled with me from Banff to Calgary) is doing an epic adventure and will be cycling from Edmonton to Calgary in one single day in hopes to raise support for Christa and I.
Ill leave him share the news:
The Battle of Alberta - July 25, 2009
I am writing you today to tell you a story in hopes that it touches you.
What & Why:
Tim Harriman has a story that has touched me and motivated me to do something to give back (as he has done, read www.spokemantour.com). Tim is a cancer survivor. In September 2002, at the age of 14, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a form of cancer in the blood common in children. At that time Tim was told he would need to undergo 2 ½ years of treatment. After nearly 3 years, he beat cancer. A cancer survivor himself, Innovative Health Group President Vince Danielsen was inspired by Tim's story and sponsored him, having the team at Innovative train Tim for 2 years free of charge. His destination upon completion of those 2 years? He rode his bike from Victoria BC to St. Johns NL in the summer of 2007 and in the process raised over $170,000 for the Childhood Cancer Foundation of Canada. His tour was a great success and Tim continues to share his story and inspire those with cancer, cancer survivors, and their families (as well as all who meet him) to embrace a more positive attitude and make the most out of their life.
Tim's New Battle
Tuesday, April 28th Tim found out that his cancer may have returned in the form of lumps on his neck. May 21st the diagnosis of aggressive lymphoma was confirmed. Tim's spirits are very high and his attitude is nothing less than that of a champion as you can assess yourself in his blog http://www.timandchrista.blogspot.com/. Tim and Christa were actually scheduled to be married in front of their friends and family July 4th and they have had to change those plans as a result of this news.
How to Support Tim
The reason I am writing is like I try to do in my own life, Tim is all about paying it forward. This is a young man who found not only peace but purpose in his battle with cancer and used it to help others. The way I see it I have the ability now to help Tim through my network of great people like you, and through a little pain and suffering myself that won't even come close to what he is going through.
That being said, on Saturday July 25th, I will be riding my road bike from the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton to Innovative Health Group in Calgary. This one day ride will cover 300km and go from 6am to about 9pm. My purpose for this ride is threefold; 1) to raise awareness and I hope support for both Tim personally (neither him nor his wife Christa are working through this process), 2) to benefit the Childhood Cancer Foundation if people would rather donate money to a formal charity than to Tim himself, and 3) to benefit others while challenging myself while I am in a privileged position to do so. The target amount for this ride would be to raise $12,000 so that Tim and Christa can dedicate 100% of their efforts to beating this cancer and surviving once again.
This is a personal quest for a friend, and as such I am not asking or demanding anything. I want to share his story and allow him to continue to do so for many years to come. In order for him to do this, I would love to be able to help support him even slightly so that he can focus on survival and continuing his legacy.
Well this is up to you, if you should feel a personal connection to his story and a reason to give. If you don't- no problem because there are certainly many great causes out there and you don't have to be affected or motivated by what motivates or affects me.
Some ideas are:
a distance-based sponsorship (donate a penny, dime, quarter, or even dollar or more per kilometer)
If you run a business and can help with groceries, goods & services a family in their situation can benefit from
gift certificates for clothing, groceries, or even the Bay, etc
ride with me (must be able to maintain 27km/hr on a road bike) all or part (ie Red Deer to Calgary is ~145km) and pass on this email to your support network
a support vehicle & driver - we already have a few volunteers here but an RV or similar would be perfect!
supportive emails for Tim on his blog or via myself to him
anything else you feel will be beneficial
This may be a lot to ask and so I am sending it with the decision up to you- I'll never hound you for this as it's not right. I will simply follow up with those of you who express interest so that even a little support can help Tim and Christa in their journey so they can go on and help others for the rest of their lives together.
If nothing else, thank you for taking the time to read this today and if it should prompt you to any action whatsoever, thank you from Tim, Christa, myself, and all those who stand to benefit from the positive example of a survivor.
Stan Peake - General Manager
We are so very grateful for what Stan the people at Innovative Fitness are doing for us. I told Stan when picking up the gifts that even that wasn't expected. They are going over and beyond...and like he said...when this is all through...we will continue to pay it forward!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
We are more than conquerors...
Friday, June 5, 2009
Don't get me wrong, there have definitely been times where I have had my down moments and feel discouraged or wonder why the **** (fill in the blank) I am going through this again, but there ain't no time to ask such silly questions. But if I am gunna bring it up...then let's open the table for discussion. Why do I have cancer again?
I've been reading a book on fighting cancer by this doctor who did mounds of research on the disease and broke cancer causing agents into three categories. 1. Our environment: From the chemicals we use to clean our house to the pollution in the air to our work environments and the things we breathe in on a daily basis. 2. Our diets: Apparently over 80% of cancers are caused by our diet. Which I find interesting. Back a while ago before I even started treatments Harold and I from work had a few interesting conversations about cancer and if things like second hand smoke and alcohol and all that apparently "number one" cancer causing stuff really is the answer. Frig, even the other day when I was in the elevator at the hospital I saw a sign up about receiving support for anal cancer. I mean - C'mon, are we not allowed to poop anymore! Give me a break. I mean I definitely agree that somewhere along the line we as humans are responsible for our health and why so many of us are inheriting diseases - but I look at my family and extended family compared to other families...If you don't have cancer in my family...something is wrong with you. You better head back to the take it or leave and tape a sign to your chest because you are in the wrong gang. But yet I look at other families who definitely ain't reaching for the healthy lifestyle and sickness doesn't even consume them. So, is it possible that maybe because I've had two types of aggressive cancer that maybe my body needs extra attention when it comes to diet in order to keep these cancers at bay...or is it possible that those who give a rats rear end about their health are only setting themselves up for problems in the future. Either way I do agree that diet plays a big roll in how we feel, our performance, and keeping illness away.
When I was training for my bike tour I eventually was asked to meet with a nutritionist who wanted to put me on all sorts of supplements, herbs, organics, and God knows what else. At first, I thought your kidding. I'm going to eat Kraft Dinner and McDonald's for the rest of my life...and watch...you might live healthier - but we are both going out the same way...we're gunna die sooner or later. But then I discovered...would I not want to live a healthy life, feeling energetic every single day, with passion and fire, and eagerness to enjoy the outdoors, and die at 90 rather than living a life on my couch and can't even roll myself over because...well...you get my point. I learnt very quickly that when I started eating more organic foods, making healthier choices, taking in supplements that we don't normally find in most foods, and living an active life style...I FELT FANTASTIC! And I believe that most of my success from my bike tour came from my diet which gave me the nutrients I needed to perform at such high intensity. Christa and I have made some major changes in our diet and when I am through with my treatments we will continue to make some major changes!
The third point the doctor discusses in his book is our thinking. A psychologist (forget her name) recently did a project called Who turned my brain off - which unlocks thinking patterns in our brain which is tied to our physical body and our health. She shows us that our attitudes and our thinking greatly effect how we think and feel about ourselves. She's not talking about the speaking your future into existence type of thinking - the whole you want a new car and a new house theory and you just gotta tell yourself 50 times that's what you want and you'll get it. Because we all know, that you can tell yourself 1 million times you are gunna get a new house, but if you don't have the financial means and knowledge to get yourself that house - your hooped. She's talking about training your mind to speak encouraging thoughts over your body and how our overall well being is uniquely and intricately tied to our thinking. When our minds are negative and we continue to allow ourselves to feed those thoughts...eventually what's in our minds flows down to our mouth...and what comes out of our mouth eventually builds into our hearts and becomes part of our make up. But instead we need to be taking captive thoughts that are negative and turn them into positive thoughts - so that the only thing that flows from our mouths are good, positive, and life giving words which eventually build into our hearts and then becomes part of our make up.
It is definitely an interesting book and study performed and is worth looking into more. So getting back to my thinking and about me having cancer again. Honestly, I don't know why I have cancer again. Beats me. But I know that instead of laying back and soaking in it all day, I...and Christa have chosen to rise up against it and continue living life...not allowing it to get us down.
When I am finished with all the treatments - you can expect another wild crazy adventure coming from us...who knows where. But we are excited to see our story unfold, and the hundreds and thousands of people who's lives are being changed because of our story!
Until next time!
Today I feel great! Better and better every day. I am excited to go home today and sleep in my own bed (with my beautiful wife), hang out in my own home, and continue living life with passion and a desire!
Here is a little clip I felt like adding from my tour. If you cannot view this link go to www.youtube.com and search for Spokeman Tour...there you can see all of my videos from my tour. You can also view my website www.spokemantour.com which talks about my tour, my battle with cancer before, and the thousands of kids who I met with cancer and over 40 million viewers we reached through media outlets!
You Tube Video - Triumph
And of course...a shout out to all my friends at the ALberta Children's Hospital Video
Know that you blessed today. Today is a gift...that is why it is called the present. Keep pressing on...and know that life goes a heck of a lot deeper then work and running errands, and having a busy life. Take time today to observe what you have...because today is a GOOD DAY!
PS. We are still trying to figure out how to get video's up, so once we can that nailed I will add a mini video clip :)
Cheers my friends!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Cheers my friends. Keep pressin on and doing what your doing...because...WE WILL WIN!!! WHOO RAH!
From the one and only,
Canadian Cyclist, 2 time Cancer Survivor, Motivational Speaker, and more to come! Bring it on!
Just a recap of what's all be happening:
Monday I had my central line put in and on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday my day basically looks like this:
8AM: Nurses comes in to start my steroids which keeps my weight stable and my appetite up and also checks my vital signs, height, weight, temperature, pulse, heart, etc.
8:30AM: Breakfast comes...The food is amazing here...I am serious! Or maybe it's the steroids!
9AM - 10AM: Nurse starts the chemo. Once the chemo is started I usually try and get out of bed and go for walks, freshin up (today is shower day), and do my exercises that the physio team has me on (It's a full body work out, and let me tell you...it's quite the work out...and I'm proud to say that I on the highest intensity program they have and hope to keep it there :)
Usually around lunch time one of Christa's friends comes in to visit whom she met back in EMT school and is now studying to be a doctor. And occasionally I get the odd visitor around lunch as well.
2PM Chemo finishes and they put another drug in me which helps protect my bladder and make me pee A LOT. Literally, as soon as the drug goes in, within minutes I might as well just stand beside the toilet because for the next hour I have to go literally every minute. It's a little annoying but if it's part of getting better then it's what I gotta do!
Then for afternoon I just hang out, watch TV, go on the computer, and at 5:30 supper comes and then a couple more visitors comes and then the rest of the day is just hanging out, walking around...and being a trouble maker like always :)
They have this drug called mezna which they started on Tuesday and will finish tomorrow (Friday). This drug also helps to protect my bladder and I'm hoping believing that once it's done tomorrow that I will have no infections and my counts and temperature will be stable and I will get discharged until Tuesday. Next week on the 10th is when I start those shots to boost my stem cells and the Doctor said If I am feeling well I can probably just come in, get my shots, and then go home again. So if you are praying, pray with us that I will not have to be here and that I can go home. The hardest part of this journey so far has been seeing Christa leave at the end of the night...I'd much rather be at home in our own home and sleeping in our own bed and hanging out together. But...if I gotta be here then we will make the best of it :)
On June 15 (my birthday!) they take my stem cells from me and will mature them and freeze them. Basically it's almost like a transfusion. They hook a line up to meet which draws my blood into something like a dialysis machine which separate my stem cells from my blood and then returns my blood to my body through another line - a total of about 5 hours. I just gotta lay back and watch TV.
So that's the scoop for now. I just went for a little walk over to the kitchen to grab some orange juice and some crackers because I am hungry...so hopefully breakfast will be here soon. I've ordered french toast and bacon :)
Take care my friends...we will be in touch!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
"Dear Brailey and Nehemiah...
Although neither of you are born yet, as I sit here in Tim's hospital room, I am excited for the day we get to hold you both in our arms. Tim is nervous about being a dad, and wants to put it off for awhile and enjoy being married to me, but I know when you both come along you will change our lives forever. I imagine the days of braiding your hair Brailey, playing dolls, dressing up and taking walks. Tim tells me about the date nights he wants to have with you, the summer nights with ice cream cones and picking you up on his shoulder and tickling you until you can't laugh anymore. Brailey, you are a blessed girl to have a dad like Tim one day. Nehemiah, I'll be sure to be your friend and spend lots of time getting to know who you are and investing into really fun moments. Tim wants to play every sport with you, teach you golfing, take you out for a coke often, and create a bond that is so strong between dad and son. We can't wait to go hiking with you both, on vacations, to disneyland, on a cruise, search for faires in the garden, find frogs in the swamp and keep really quiet as Santa drops off his gifts for you!
As you grow up, I'm sure you will quickly discover the heart your dad has. He will protect you, pray for you, love on you, and be your favorite...your hero, the best dad in the whole world. He will help change poopy diapers, and proudly watch you graduate. He is a man of strength, fighting cancer two times...and winning! He is wise, focused, determined and will help you accomplish your goals, and will never tell you what you desire is too big for you to reach. He will teach you, motivate you, train you and never ever turn his back on you when you need him the most. He is so devoted to me, putting all others second, and I know he will do the same for you both. Any time he makes you mad, or when you're older and you are frustrated with him, remember this; He knows alot, he's faced alot and loves you like crazy. He wants the best for you and wants you to grow, flourish and succeed. He wants you to fulfill your dreams and accomplish your goals. He wants you to dream big, and win every battle you ever face. Your dad is my hero, and I know he will be yours.
We both can't wait to meet you...until we do, we're going to grow stronger together, in Christ and fight fight fight the good fight of faith. Wait until you meet your dad....you'll love him!
-Christa (your moma in a few years)"
It is now about 8AM and what do I wake up to? Beep...beep...beep. I called the nurse but no one has come yet. I became a master at controlling these pumps when I went through treatments the first time...I am very tempted to start pushin buttons...and possibly even un hook myself and go down the street to Denny's for breakfast. Yesterday after my 5 hours of chemo I was allowed to go for a little walk outside. I was bugging Christa when I stepped out to the street and put my hand up yelling...TAXI! Then I got a whole lot of stares from doctors and nurses and who knows who else who were probably thinking...this guy is nuts...he is still hooked up to his pump and has a million bags on him...where's he going? Someone call security. Ha-ha :)
Good times. Yesterday I arrived back at hospital at around 8am from my overnight pass. They hooked me up pretty quickly to some all sorts of meds to protect my kidneys and me bladder and then they started the chemo. I don't remember how much chemo I received last time I went through this during the first week of my diagnosis but it amazes me that I only have 3 days of a few bags each day and that is enough to wipe out my entire body. They doctor's and nurses don't expect that ill be too sick with this and plan on having me rebound pretty quickly. I've heard that the transplant process can be a bit painful leading up to it when they give these shots into my tummy which will draw the stem cells from my bone and into my blood stream so that it can be taken for transplant. Technology amazes me.
Yesterday one of the nurses who was helping me was very keen on hearing more about my bike tour and how did I train for and how much money we raised, etc. She said it is really nice to have patients come in once in a while who have done amazing things because it helps to keep the nurses attitudes positive and remind them why they are doing what they are doing. Christa's uncle Laurie Skreslet who was the first Canadian to climb mount Everest is also friends with Alan Hobson who is an acute leukemia survivor, had a donor blood stem call transplant, and was only given 1 year to live. Alan was on his third expedition to reach the summit of Mount Everest as well when this terrifying news came. Not only did he summit to the top of Everest but he also summits to the top of Cancer and is still alive today writing books and speaking around the world on his climb back from cancer. This is just a few of the people that I have met in my journeys and have a had a chance to hear their story and be inspired but what they have done...and what I will continue to do as well.
There is a hall on this ward called inspiration highway where it is lined with pictures and stories and newspaper clippings of cancer patients who have walked this road given the worst prognosis and are still alive today achieving their dreams and living life to the fullest!
I thank you all for your encouragement and support as I press on into victory and as I become the 1 stat that rebounds and reacts to these medications so mildly that doctors are astounded and can't believe my case :)
Cheers to you :)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This is my wonderful view from my bed :)
Today is the day the journey officially begins. As I rolled over this morning and caught a glimpse of Christa my eyes filled with tears knowing that this would be the last morning (only for a little while though) I get to roll over and see her lying next to me, wake up, prepare breakfast together, and conquer the world together. However, I also realized very quickly that this can still be a good memory and at the same time, it’s okay to shed a tear once in a while and absorb everything that is happening. Even though gears have shifted and our paths have changed slightly we can still do things together and conquer the world together.
I have said it before that this is going to be a walk in the park. In a way it baffles my mind that I am once again walking this road and every time a nurse comes in to give me my meds or take my vitals it’s nothing new. Been there, done that. Let’s get er’ done and get outta here! Some may say – “Tim, do really think this is going to be walk in the park”? And I say...yes it will. How and why?
When you go for a walk in the park there are days of sunshine, overcast, thunder storms, light rain; seasons of summer, spring, fall and winter; days when the birds are out chirping along as you walk the pathways; valleys to walk through and hills to summit. And occasionally, there are no pathways at all as you trek through natural debris, deep grass, and stumble over obstacles. A walk in the park is never the same as the other walks you’ve had. It always changes and never repeats itself. Some days are walks of frustration and a time to release the stress. Other walks are filled with joy and laughter as you skip along with your friends and love ones, while some days are just casual strolls through the park – nothing too exhilarating and nothing too exhausting. This is my park. This is my walk. It will never be the same.
Packing my bags and checking me in this morning was definitely a little different. Setting up my room and making it as comfortable as possible as I now call this home away from home. 12:30 I was wheeled down to the operating room where my central line was put in (my new little friend which is an IV that goes into my chest and into my heart so that drugs and medications and pumped into my body, blood can be drawn, and my stem cell transplant can be transfused.
Overall it was a fairly low key day and I was discharge and allowed to come home for the night.
As I have had the opportunity to speak to thousands of people, corporate companies and sponsors, and act as an ambassador for the Alberta Children’s Hospital speaking about my story and my experiences with cancer and some of my challenges in my own life at a very young age...I once again tell you this:
It is evident that life will bring its share of challenges and obstacles our way. Its valleys and hills, its sunshine and rain – but always, through thick and thin...Life is Good...Always...and we can always come out the other side with flying colors and arms lifted high as we receive VICTORY!
Until next time,
Tim is upstairs having a rest. :)
So, it all began yesterday! Tim was admitted and recieved his central line (CVC) which was quickly insterted right into his heart. This is instead of having lots of pokes every day, and much easier to administer chemo and other things! The procedure only took about six minutes, and the drugs they gave to sedate him wore off so quickly...I swear, Tim is the exception to every rule and guildeline medicine has. Because he did so well, the nurses sent us (meaning the three of us...Tim, Me and a 3000ml bag of fluid) home last night to hang out in our own place. It was so good to be able to chill at home! My mom cooked us a big pasta dinner, and then we just headed off to bed.
This morning, they started Tim on his first day of Chemo. One of three this month. Within an hour or so you could see the color fade from his face, and those dark circles come out, but no other symptoms at all. The nurses told us he may experience this side effect, or that, or maybe this...but so far, by God's healing power, Tim has had NO side effects whatsoever. After that dose went in they hooked him up to another bag of chemo. Shortly after, he decided to rest, so..here I am!
For the first time in awhile, I was able to sit down this morning and really write in my journal. Its neat the things that come out when you allow yourself to be totally honest and open, even with your own feelings. This battle is unreal sometimes. Sitting in this hospital, in this library staring up at the bookshelves with every second book titled "CANCER" its amazing how easy it is to suddenly feel like you want to give up. Why Cancer? --I wrote that question down today and came up with this answer.
Life is messy. Life has cancer, accidents, pain, depression, bad days, ...but I have a God who is bigger than cancer, illness, side effects, any disease. He is power...and in the moments I feel powerless or angry, I turn to Him. Why would I even doubt? Why would I even give in to the crap on this planet? Is there any good in living defeated? No way!
I am so blessed to be beside Tim in this battle. I am so glad God has prepped me the way He has for this, and Tim too. We are strong in Christ, we are overcomers, and owners of a promise of healing. Like Tim said, he has to get sick before he can get better...but God is bigger!!
We've been through hell and high water, but all along have been holding on to eachother and keeping our focus SURE! Anybody can run their mouth, say what they please, believe what they hear, but nothing, not even those closest to us will distract us from pushing forward and being an amazing couple with a big big purpose.
Tim, you are an amazing person. I know I tell you this all the time. Nobody knows your heart like I do, and nobody gets me like you do. I can't imagine this life without you, and I am so excited for this journey and the result...! Thank you for asking me to be your wife. I am honored to have my new last name and start this walk in the park as a married couple. I'm your woman, you're my man and I love you with everything I have. This past week was the best week of my life, and I can't wait for the weeks ahead!! Just incase you've forgotten, here are my vows again.
"I remember praying for my husband and making a list of all the things my heard desired, but while writing, I never actually knew how seriously God took my requests. He knew I would face many mountains, and that my desires would change. After writing that new list, God opened the door to you standing on the other side.
I waited to see if you had the same dreams, passions and desires that I did, only to realize that at the same time he opened the door for me, he had also opened one for you. His timing could not have been more perfect. He brought me you, and I am eternally grateful his blessed care.
You had my heart in a moment, and continue to sweep me off my feet every day. You Tim, are my best friend, the one I can laugh with and cry with to the point of puffy eyes and running mascara. You teach me, uplift and support me.
You are one million amazing things. I promise to hold your heart well, stay by your side always, respect you, speak highly of you, put all your needs before my own, pray for you constantly and model Christ's love to you. I vow to stand by your side no matter what, and be exactly what you need me to be.
For this journey we have ahead of us I will be your cheerleader, your supporter, the one you can count on. I will pray for you, put aside all others to help see you through this battle. I am fighting with you, I'll fight harder when you need me to, hold your hand when its a little bit dark and praise God with you as we come out the other side.
This day is about beginning a journey to fulfill the amazing destiny HE has for you and I, together and as one.
You Tim are my one and only. I promise to be beside you, behind you and holding your hand until our sweet Jesus calls us home."
Well guys, I better head back up! We will continue to keep you informed of Tims amazing progress!!