Monthly Archives: December 2020

2020: A Look Back

I have heard so many people talking about how horrible 2020 has been. While I agree there have been some definite downtimes, 2020 was full of positives. I want to take a minute to look back on life in Cotterville and share the positives of our year.

January through March were fairly routine. I was working at a job I loved as a preschool teacher. Eli was growing like crazy and learning new things every day. As Spring break approached, our family looked forward to ending the school year on a high note.

We all know what happened in mid-March. The country slowed down and came to a near halt, but life in our house was never dull. How can it be with three kids and two dogs? We believed the quarantine would be quick-lived, but as the weeks rolled into months we began to settle into a “new normal”.

May brought many changes. Chris began working from home full-time. Today I asked everyone what was one positive that came out of 2020 and Chris quickly said, I got to work from home. We have all enjoyed him being home with us. He is still working from home full-time and we love it.

May also brought about change for Jordan. He turned 18. It wasn’t the 18th birthday we had planned for him, but it turned out wonderful. I coordinated a parade and friends and family drove by honking and wishing him a happy birthday. Jordan then went on to graduate high school. Again, it was different, but I thought the backup plan for graduation turned out better than the original. Jordan was able to graduate crossing the start/finish line at Texas Motor Speedway! We sat in our car watching on a HUGE screen from the infield; an experience the family will remember. Senior year of high school is crazy. Most seniors are barely home. They are busy with work or activities. Our family was blessed with getting to spend the last few months of Jordan at home together and that is something I will forever cherish!

In August, Jordan was able to move off to college and has thrived. He finished his first semester with a 4.0 and we are so very proud of him. We cannot wait to see what 2021 brings for Jordan!

One of the main positives to come out of 2020 has been the time together as a family. We were forced to slow down. We were forced to spend time together at home. Everyone was home to witness Eli learning to crawl, take his first steps, speak his first words, and learn all about the world around him. Chris had missed some firsts with the other two boys while being at work.

We sat down every night as a family and had dinner. This is something we have always tried to do, but life is busy when you have kids in band and playing sports. Quarantine allowed us to eat at home every single night. We learned more about each other. We told stories and shared memories. Dinnertime is now one of our favorite things to do as a family.

This last year has made me stop and focus on the small things. We don’t have to have something to do every night. Reading books, playing games, doing puzzles, and just spending time together is enough.

I do not know what 2021 brings. This world is scary and uncertain, but I know that our God will be there every step of the way. God is bigger than anything we can face, whether it be COVID, cancer, or some other struggle. I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on the positives of 2020. Find the Joy that God provided. I wish you all a Happy New Year!

“Vacation” is Over

My last chemo treatment was December 1st. That treatment marked the end of the first phase of chemotherapy. I was slated to have my new chemo medication done the 15th, bit I spoke with my doctor and we decided there would be no harm in holding off until after Christmas.

I am so glad we made that decision. The month of December is busy for most everyone, but when your family of five celebrates three birthdays in addition to Christmas, things get chaotic! This December brought Isaac turning 11, Chris having a birthday, Christmas, and Eli turning 2! I had no time for chemo!

Around mid-month I started feeling somewhat normal and the last few weeks were great. We had wonderful family time and I think we went nearly a week without even mentioning cancer or chemo. It was so nice and a much needed time of normalcy. But, alas, the cancer vacation has come to an end.

Tomorrow I start my next round of chemo. The “T” portion of AC-T. The medication itself is called Taxol.

My oncologist says it should be much easier on my body with the main side effect being fatigue. I am in several support groups and have seen a wide range of experiences. Most say they did fine while other had a harder time. There is no way of knowing how my body will react, but the prayer is I will handle it well and be able to function fairly normally! I do have steroids to take tonight and in the morning and will be given IV Benadryl just prior to the chemo infusion. I assume I will be very sleepy tomorrow as I sleep off the Benadryl.

I will be having 12 weekly infusions and then I will be completely done with chemo! This puts me finishing the Taxol by end of March as long as my blood counts don’t delay a treatment.

It has been a little over three months since diagnosis, but it feels much, much longer! I would like to believe that 2020 was the hard part of treatment, my mastectomy and four rounds of AC chemo “Red Devil”, and 2021 will bring better experiences and complete healing!

In addition to praying for little to no side effects from Taxol, please pray specifically that I do not develop neuropathy. That is one of the more severe things that can occur from taking Taxol. I will be icing my hands and feet during the infusion in an effort to prevent the chemo drugs from traveling to and settling into my hands and feet. We may not know for quite some time of neuropathy has set in. Some patients experience it while undergoing treatment and some months and years later. I think this is the only part that really makes me nervous.

I will leave you today with a few of my favorite pictures from the second half of December. I will follow up after the first round of Taxol to let you know how it went.

A few of the highlights. A lot of Eli. He is the star of the show almost always!


One side effect I never expected was insomnia. My sleep patterns are a mess. Earlier this week for the span of about three days all I did was sleep. Day and night. Then it changed to sleeping all day and not a single bit at night. That is where we are now.

It is currently 5:45 am and I have not gone to sleep. I thought it was due to the steroids given alongside chemo but those are well out of my system.

I feel okay when I’m awake, I just wish I was awake when the rest of my family was!

In reading posts in my support groups, insomnia appears to be a common thing. I am hoping things get back to normal soon!