Five on Friday (November 15, 2019)

Welcome to November, friends. We're already halfway through the month which seems impossible. Also, a bit melancholy since November and December are my two favorite months of the year and I don't want to speed through even a little bit of it. It's hard to know where to pick up since I have been so negligent in this space for much of 2019.

Did I mention Brian backed up the van smashing our Yaris into smithereens? Should we talk about the night Rory didn't tell me about the overflowing toilet until said water was inches deep? Or how she brought me a hand towel to soak up the inches of water? Or how about the toilet water dripping through the ceiling? I say we should move right along!

1. I'll start with Rory's first overnight youth group trip last weekend. A friend texted me over the weekend with the words, "How is she old enough to be here?" and that sums it up. Brian, Camden, and I went to see the new biopic Harriet; we all highly recommend the movie. And be sure to stay for the credits because the music and pictures are worth the extra moments.

2. Rory was gone last weekend and Camden is at a 3-day basketball tournament this weekend - his first Varsity event. I can't believe how quiet the house feels with one of them gone.


3. I have almost reached my goal of reading 65 books in 2019. Book #63 was Frankly in Love by David Yoon. I give it a solid 4 stars for the storyline; the main characters are Korean American which gave it an boost. It might have even been a 5-star book if it weren't for the heavy cursing (do teenagers really talk like that?). Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Book #64 is still in progress but I like it already (Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati). Book #65 is going to be Station Eleven (I've had it in my "to read" pile for nearly a year after my book club friend pressed it into my hand. 


4. We celebrated my 44th birthday Tuesday with our annual trip to Kendra Scott (3 years running and I was still surprised), a delicious lunch at Pastaria, free Jeni's ice cream (with a candle!), and the best latte I've ever had at Sump. Maybe birthdays in your forties aren't so bad after all. Oh, and we woke up to snow and a 2-hour school delay - I think that's a first for my birthday!

my cute new Anthropologie mug from Brian



the brown butter pistachio ravioli with lemon and mint was SO delicious


5. Speaking of coffee, I took advantage of an incredible sale and purchased a Breville Nespresso machine. Yep, the very expensive, bar code-scanning kind with an awesome milk frother (you can froth either hot or cold). I think you'll be impressed when I tell you that it arrived on my doorstep for $112 (instead of the list price of $440). So now we have a coffee pot, an espresso machine, a French press, a cold brew French press, and the Nespresso machine. Should I be embarrassed by all the coffee appliances?

Instead of saving the best for last, regrettably, I have a "worst" to report. After a scan last week revealed my cancer is growing despite chemotherapy, Dr. C sent us home with the news that we are no longer working to kill cancer but rather to simply slow the growth as best as we can for as long as we can. Unfortunately, this means that I will not get better, only worse as time goes on. While the news is not unexpected (I've been waiting for this to happen ever since I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer 8.5 years ago), this kind of news is hard. It's impossible to process, devastating to my family. Tuesday I began a daily chemo pill. Back in 2015-2016 I took a similar drug that stabilized my cancer for about 18 months. The hope is that this drug will do the same. The main side effects are bone and joint pain, sometimes severe, but it still should be easier than traditional chemo. I already have a doctor in the oncology department whose sole focus is to find medication to offset the pain and symptoms of cancer and side effects of chemo. I feel blessed to have these professionals in my corner. For now, our routine continues with business as usual. My Psalm 46 mantra continues: God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear . . . 

Let's set aside that somber news to talk about the weekend. Brian is making balloon animals tonight at a school fall festival while Rory and I have a girl's night that will probably include a Hallmark Christmas movie (Rory's choice). Tomorrow we will celebrate my birthday at mom and dad's; hopefully, Camden will be back from his tournament in time to join us. Happy Friday, friends!


Amy said…
I'm so sorry, Melissa. There really are no words but that I am continuing to beseech the Father on your behalf. We know He can do the impossible and I'm praying for healing. I'm also praying He will minimize the side effects from the pills and use them to heal and restore you! Love you, sweet friend.
Unknown said…
I love you and will keep praying for that miracle of complete healing.
Ramsh said…
I hate this. It seems so unfair. Your attitude and writing, on the other hand, are inspiring. I am thinking of you and praying for you and your family.
Jenifer Carnes said…
I have followed you ever since you and my dad were going through this together. He prayed for you everyday and I still do too. You have been such an inspiration through it all. Keeping on praying....
Jenifer Carnes
astonied said…
Can I just say on your blog, "well, that news just sucks!" I would also like to say how you deal with that news says who you are and that is a pretty impressive person to be. So, we will just lift you up in prayer knowing that you are well taken care of.
I have no words that seem adequate with all that you and your family are going through.
Thinking of you and remembering you all in prayer.

Jocelyn x
Monica said…
I am so sorry for this news, Melissa. I will continue to pray for you and your family as you process it. You are an incredible example of grace and living faith. I am ways live reading your updates.
cookie said…
Melissa I have watched you over the years as you have battled yet stayed confident in who Our Father is “Our strong Tower”. Nothing is impossible for Him!!!! I know first hand He is our healer!!! I am praying that for you!!!! Praying that the side effects will be very few and tolerable and grace & strength for you and your family!!!!!
Praying for you.
Liz said…
Keep the faith! You are one beautiful flower, momma, friend, and wife. You never know what will happen, only God knows. New cures in the works every day!
VinGirl said…
I love the new look for the blog! No shame in that coffee game either~ we just have an espresso machine, but there is always the pull for more ways to enjoy our favorite beverage. :P I'm so sorry that the recent chemo didn't have the results you had hoped for. You will continue to be in my thoughts, and I'll be sending you all the good vibes. ♥
Danyelle said…
Been following you for years, ever since the adoption forum. I pray for you often and will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer.

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